Kieran Hudson on Castleford Tigers adversity, why he joined Leeds Rhinos and the football club he joined as an academy player

GOING through an injury is often part and parcel of sport.

However, sometimes a devastating injury can occur that leaves a player out for a number of months.

For new Leeds Rhinos signing Kieran Hudson, he played his first game for his new club on Friday night after 13 months out with a ruptured Achilles.

That injury was sustained at the end of his pre-season with the Castleford Tigers this time last year, meaning that Hudson failed to play a game for the Tigers in his two years at the club.

Now Hudson has revealed just how difficult the time out from the game was, especially mentally.

“It’s gone really well, it was my first game in a while on Friday against Hunslet. I’m at the back end of my recovery now,” Hudson told League Express.

“It’s been hard obviously physically but mentally also. I’m just glad I’m out at the other side now because it’s been a long 13 months.

“It’s about having short-term goals and taking it week by week instead of looking at the long-term. If you look at the injury in terms of 9-12 months recovery, you will go a bit crazy thinking about that.

“You need to think about little goals of what you can do next week to make yourself better. It’s patience more than anything.”

Though Hudson was gutted that he wasn’t able to pull on a Castleford shirt in Super League, the towering forward emphasised that joining Leeds was “a no-brainer”.

“It was difficult. Obviously I worked hard through pre-season and was training non stop for almost no reward because I ended up getting injured at the back end of pre-season. It was very difficult.

“It was sort of a no-brainer to be honest. Leeds is a part of my family and it means a lot to me so I jumped at the opportunity to join when I got it.

“It’s obviously a great club to be a part of steeped in a rich history.

Growing up in the northeast, it’s quite clear that rugby league would not have been at the forefront of Hudson’s mind – in fact, he was part of Sunderland FC’s academy system.

“To be honest, it was mostly football. There wasn’t much rugby league going on up there. It was Sunderland ’til I die!

“I made it through Sunderland’s academy system but I never made it professional because I wasn’t very tall until I turned about 16 if you can believe that!

“I went down the rugby route after 16 then and haven’t regretted it since.”

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