Jesse Sene-Lefao reveals why he left Featherstone Rovers and his relationship with ex-Leeds Rhinos boss Brian McDermott

JESSE SENE-LEFAO had lofty ambitions in 2022.

He had just left the Castleford Tigers to sign for the Featherstone Rovers after five seasons at the Jungle in a bid to spearhead the latter’s charge to Super League.

Midway through the season, however, it was clear that Rovers were facing a Leigh Leopards onslaught who were eventually promoted at the expense of Featherstone and Batley Bulldogs.

Now, Sene-Lefao has signed for Sheffield Eagles and has revealed why he had to leave Rovers.

“It was a shock coming back with a different team. The last few years, there has been a lot of change and it’s about adapting again,” Sene-Lefao told League Express.

“We underachieved last year in terms of what I wanted to achieve as well as the club. At that moment in time I needed clarity because I only signed for one year.

“Obviously my family was ready to stay. I was thinking to have one more year and get Featherstone over the line and then play another year in Super League. That was the big vision I had, but as you know things get in the way and plans don’t go according to plan.

“I needed clarity for my future and at the time Featherstone couldn’t give me an answer and I had to go looking but it fell in to place the move to Sheffield.

“It was timing as well with Sheffield being the right option.”

With that being said, Sene-Lefao has nothing but admiration for former Leeds Rhinos boss Brian McDermott who was his coach in 2022.

“I learnt a lot last year as a player and Brian McDermott was another awesome coach for me in terms of leadership and values.

“I really enjoyed my time under him, that one year was like a five-year experience in terms of rugby alone and life. Not much people know this but he’s a had a lot of adversity.

“Everyone looks at his Grand Final rings but the things he’s had to go through have been enormous. He was superb for me in where I was going in my career, listening to stories about how greats in our game made their way.

“Just the little things on the field as well like big game coaches know what others don’t always see. I can’t speak highly enough of him.”