Jamie Peacock, the legendary former Leeds and Bradford forward, has come out of retirement to play for Hull Kingston Rovers for the rest of the season as they attempt to avoid relegation.
Peacock, 38, retired from the game at the end of last season, finishing an illustrious career by winning the treble with Leeds Rhinos. He subsequently joined Hull Kingston Rovers as the club’s head of rugby, where he oversees all matters concerning the performance department.
However, things haven’t gone to plan so far, with the club failing to make the top eight of Super League while they are currently struggling to secure their Super League status after losing to Championship side Leigh last week.
Their current struggles, combined with an increasing injury list has forced Peacock to swap his suit for a Rovers jersey for the remainder of the season.
Peacock, who was officially registered as a player by the club before the deadline at the end of July, began training individually in the gym six weeks ago and took part in a field session with James Webster’s squad for the first time earlier today.
He is contention to play in the weekend’s game against London.
“I’ve been happily retired for almost a year now and bowing out in last season’s Grand Final with the Rhinos was the perfect way to bring my career to an end, but the time has come for me to put my boots on again,” Peacock said.
“Although my family don’t quite understand it, this feels like the right decision and I’m looking forward to getting back out there as quickly as possible. Physically, it may take me some time to get back up to speed but I’ve been preparing as best I can and mentally I’m in a good place. I’m going to fully embrace the challenge and do all I can to help the team until the end of the season.
“With the loss of three more players to injury against Leigh on Saturday and Maurice Blair returning home to Australia temporarily this week, we are now down to the bare bones in terms of the squad. Our policy throughout the season has always been to blood our younger players but now is not the time to be putting the pressure on them given what is at stake over the next three weeks.
“Unfortunately, salary cap restraints meant we were limited in terms of bringing in reinforcements before the deadline but we explored the option of using somebody internally and I was officially registered as a Hull KR player with the RFL in case of emergency.
“I understand my decision will be a big talking point but as far as I’m concerned I’m just focusing on training as hard as I can and getting back out there on the field as quickly as possible. I know it won’t be easy to just pick up where I left off after nearly 12 months out of the sport, but I’m determined to give it my best shot.”