Leeds Rhinos have been handed the perfect pre-season boost ahead of the new Super League campaign after it was confirmed that stalwart Jamie Peacock had agreed a contract extension.
The former England captain, who had previously said that 2014 would be his last year before retiring, has, at the grand old age of 36, penned a new two-year deal which means he will be turning out at Headingley until 2015.
Barring injury, that will take the experienced star up to just short of his 39th birthday and provide a fitting end to what has been a typical gutsy career.
The ex-Bradford skipper enjoyed one of his best seasons for Leeds in 2013 that defied his age and now he has given the Rhinos a timely boost as they step up their preparations for the new campaign – which kicks off for them with a clash against Hull KR on February 16.
Peacock was delighted to have sorted out his future beyond the end of this season and he insists he still has plenty to give, both on and off the pitch, for the Yorkshire club.
He said: “I still have a lot of goals I want to achieve in the next two seasons and high in those priorities is helping the transition of this group of players onto the next stage of their careers, and helping the Rhinos maintain the success we have had in recent years.”
“I am looking forward to the new season and the next two years. Last year was the first time in over a decade that I had a full off season and I can feel the benefit of that again this winter as I look towards the new campaign.”
The news of his new deal is a major boost for all at Headingley and coach, Brian McDermott, who is well aware how big an influence Peacock can be in the dressing room, says the front row remains in great shape physically and, despite his advancing years, fans who place rugby league bets know he can still handle the rough and tumble of Super League.
He said: “He’s just in great nick. Whenever we do conditioning, JP’s up there. He’s incredible and he’s not just a machine, mentally he’s getting better and his influence over the group is immense.
“You’d put him up there, if not higher, than (former Australia and Fiji international) Petero Civoniceva with his standing in the game, He’s one in a million. I don’t think we’ll get another one like him.
“I’m lucky to have him. He has an influence over the coaching side of things but I think JP has other things in his life. His desire is in administration. I think he wants to take over the world.”
Leeds will hope to maintain their recent impressive form in 2014 and, with Peacock firmly on board, some sites offering rugby league tips are already predicting more success for the club.
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