Kruise Leeming explains why he joined Warrington Wolves, left Huddersfield Giants and signed for Leeds Rhinos

IN 2022, Kruise Leeming firmly shot to the top as one of the most consistent number nines in the Super League competition.

Though not chosen for England by head coach Shaun Wane, Leeming captained Leeds Rhinos all the way to the Grand Final.

It’s been a superb progression for the hooker, whose career began with amateur club Siddal before being picked up by Warrington Wolves.

And Leeming reveals that the idea of being ‘different’ drove his desire to sign for the Cheshire club.

“At 15 I signed at Warrington and there was a big thing, all the Halifax based players would sign for Huddersfield or Leeds, they’d sign for Yorkshire teams,” Leeming told Tom’s Talks YouTube Podcast.

“For me to go over to Lancashire it was almost like they’d picked me to go over there, they’d normally scout their area.

“My mates in school would all have Leeds, Huddersfield or Bradford tracksuits on but I had a Warrington one on. It felt different for me to realise they could see something in me.

“(It was about) getting out of my comfort zone, going to meet new people and not knowing anyone.

“I wanted to just be different, it was a big travel at 15-years-old as well going to Warrington three times a week.”

That left Leeming hungry for Super League appearances and that came when he made the move to the Huddersfield Giants.

Over a period of seven years, the Eswatini-born hooker made 122 appearances, but left for Leeds ahead of the 2020 Super League season and now he’s revealed why he moved on again.

“I got to the stage where I’d been playing Super League for seven or eight years, I’d been in Huddersfield’s system,” Leeming continued.

“I’d worked my way up and got a squad number of 31, went down to 28, then 14 and then I got to nine.

“I was 21 or 22 and I’d got the nine shirt, I felt like I’d made it. I played there for three or four years but then Leeds Rhinos came along and I’d have to fight for my shirt again, people would ask ‘why would you go to another club and fight for your shirt?’

“It’s because of what we spoke about, being uncomfortable. I know if I’d have stayed for another five years then I would have no growth in me as a person or as a player.

“Going to Leeds it spiralled out again, got the nine shirt, won a Challenge Cup and then got made captain.”