Hardaker commits long-term future to Leeds

Leeds Rhinos full-back Zak Hardaker has signed a long-term deal with the club after an impressive 2015 campaign with the club.

The 23-year-old, who has made 124 appearances for the Rhinos since joining them from Featherstone in 2011, has pledged his allegiance to the club until at least the end of the 2019 season.

He was issued with a warning by Leeds chief executive Gary Hetherington two years ago after being thrown out of England’s World Cup squad and earlier this year was fined and ordered to do 20 hours of voluntary work and attend an anger management course following an arrest for assault.

“I am really pleased to have signed the new deal,” Hardaker said. “I would like to say thank you to Gary Hetherington for the faith he has shown in me and also the club’s supporters, especially our members who every year show their support for the team and certainly were a big part in why I have committed my future to the club.

“Over the last decade, the fans have been used to a team that grew up together with Kevin Sinfield, Danny McGuire, Rob Burrow and Jamie Jones-Buchanan. Obviously things are going to change over the next few years but there is a group of young players here now who want to follow in their footsteps and make our own history here with the Rhinos.

“It is a really exciting time to be at the club and I am looking forward to the future and achieving more success over the years ahead.”