A tribute to Danny McGuire – 450 career appearances

Danny McGuire is set to make his 450th career appearance tonight as Leeds Rhinos take on Hull FC in the second semi-final of Super League.

And fittingly, it will be his and Rob Burrow’s final game at Headingley Carnegie before the duo move on to pastures new at the end of the season. With McGuire joining newly-promoted Hull Kingston Rovers for 2018 while Burrow will join the club’s coaching staff.

McGuire has played 422 games for Leeds since making his debut against Salford City Reds on July 6 2001 after impressing in the Rhinos Academy.

The 34-year-old is currently in his 16th season as a professional Rugby League player with Leeds and has been a consistent performer throughout that period.

He leapfrogged former teammate Keith Senior in 2012 in the try-scoring charts to become the first ever player to score 200 tries in Super League.

And the former East Leeds is still currently the highest try-scorer in the competition’s history.

McGuire had already become a first team regular by the start of the 2003 campaign but it was a year later when his career really started to take off.

The stand-off crossed the whitewash 39 times in all competitions in 2004, including five tries in a game against Widnes Vikings.

As a result of his stellar displays, McGuire was awarded the Rugby League Writers Association Player of the Year award and was also named in the Super League Dream Team, alongside Senior, Marcus Bai, Matt Diskin and Ali Lauitiiti, who were then at the Rhinos.

And McGuire’s year continued to shine, as he made his Great Britain debut in a defeat to Australia. He went on to play in 12 more Test matches for the Lions.

The Leeds-born star played a key role in the Rhinos’ World Club Challenge success in 2005. He guided his side to an emphatic 39-32 victory over then NRL Premiers Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs.

Notable games he has starred in for Leeds though has to be the 2007, 2008 and 2009 Super League Grand Final victories over St Helens, with McGuire playing with a level head and having that bit of unteachable flair on the side.

McGuire was part of Tony Smith’s England squad for the 2008 World Cup and played a big role in the tournament but his last international appearance came shortly after that, sadly, in 2009.

Another year that will stand-out for the half-back will be the 2015 treble winning campaign. He helped Brian McDermott’s Rhinos outfit to win the Challenge Cup, League Leaders’ Shield and Super League Grand Final in one season which not a lot of teams can say they have done.

The former Great Britain and England star, who will be 35 by the team next season is underway, is one of the most decorated players in the summer era, with seven Super League titles, three World Club Challenges titles, three League Leaders’ Shields and two Challenge Cups to his name.

He has, without doubt, been one of the faces of Super League over the years. And it will certainly be strange seeing him in the red and white kit of Hull KR next season rather than the blue and amber of Leeds.

About Drew Darbyshire 7878 Articles
Love Rugby League Deputy Editor. Joined the site ahead of the 2017 World Cup and been a full-time reporter since 2018.

Be the first to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.