Progress on tackling pandemic could help keep Prior at Leeds

Matt Prior might be out of contract at Leeds at the end of the season, but the Australian forward is certainly not ruling out staying beyond that – if worries about Covid ease.

“I haven’t sat down with the club just yet, there’s still a few issues with the coronavirus stuff, which took its toll on me a little bit,” said the 33-year-old ex-New South Wales star, who joined the Rhinos from Cronulla last year and featured in Friday’s 15-13 extra-time Super League win over Wakefield at Emerald Headingley.

“I’m taking it week to week at the minute to see how everything is, and if I’m playing good footy and Leeds want to keep me, then I might go around again.

“I just want to see if everything goes back to normal and see what happens with that, that’s the only thing deterring me from making a decision on my future at the moment, but I’m just trying to see how everything pans out.”

It was well documented that former St George Illawarra player Prior and his family suffered during the first lockdown, having only just moved from Australia.

“It was tough last year – the unknown with the lockdowns and stuff getting pushed back footy wise, we weren’t sure what was going to happen, which was hard,” he explained.

“We got through it, and things are starting to look a lot better now.

“I really like the club, I’m enjoying it a lot. I like the boys and Leeds and the area, it’s really nice – I like it over here.”

Given his age, Prior doesn’t think an NRL return is on the cards.

“I think I’m a bit past that, I’m nearly 34,” he added. “Never say never, because you don’t know what’s around the corner, but obviously I’m getting on.”

Despite Leeds winning just twice this year, against Wakefield on both occasions, he is happy with his current form amid preparations for Sunday’s home clash with Hull.

“I think it’s been pretty good. I’m happy with where I am at,” he said.

“Obviously, we’re not winning enough, which is disappointing, and I’ve still got a lot of room for improvement.”

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