Brad Singleton has revealed that a brutally honest chat with Leeds director of rugby Kevin Sinfield contributed to his departure from the Rhinos.
After a decade at Headingley, the prop left the Rhinos last week to take up a deal with Super League newcomers Toronto Wolfpack.
The 27-year-old was still under contract with Leeds, with whom he had won two Grand Finals and a Challenge Cup.
However, in a frank and honest interview, Singleton admitted to Sinfield that he had lost his spark at the start of the year, which resulted in a dip in form.
While his performances picked up by the end of the campaign, an end-of-season review with Sinfield saw the two parties mutually agree that a change would be in the best interests of both parties.
“Both of us were honest with where we were at,” Singleton revealed.
“I ended reasonably well, but I just felt there’s a duty of care to put yourself in the right environment. I’m not saying the culture is bad at Leeds, but you know when the time is right to move on.
“Motivation was never an issue for me. But at the start of 2019, there were probably a number of reasons that I don’t need to go into, but that personal motivation left me for a while and it really hurt me personally, because that’s not what I’m about. The best place for me wasn’t Leeds any more.
“Kev has a tough job and he needs to get them back to winning ways, and I genuinely hope they do that. He needed to bring people in and mix something up. From a personal viewpoint I said it was probably best if I were to be part of that change. I had another year, but I think a move was best for me. I’ve seen a lot of players come and go and I felt it was unfair for me to stick around.”
Now Singleton is preparing for a venture into the unknown with the Wolfpack, even though he is looking forward to a reunion with former Leeds coach Brian McDermott.
“It’s so exciting,” he said.
“I’ve said all along that my family has already made the big move away from home. We’ve already made that jump from Barrow to Leeds. We were keen for an adventure and we could do that through rugby. The move to Toronto reflects the goal of the family.
“I’d be lying if I said that Mac wasn’t a positive influence. I had one phone call with him and it was good and honest between both of us. I think he can see I’m hungry and I could see Toronto were too.
“He’s an honest bloke and I’ve probably missed that and the environment he created. I’m not saying it was dishonest at Leeds, but I missed his version of it. It reminded me what I was missing when I spoke to him.
“When a man is so honest he creates a great environment, but living in it and winning is still very hard. But with Mac, you have to respect and believe in everything he says.
“I’m hungry to kick on.”
Last week the Wolfpack revealed that McDermott has signed a new five-year contract with the club.
It also revealed that a raft of players have signed new contracts.
Adam Sidlow, Andy Ackers, Liam Kay, Chase Stanley, Blake Wallace, Gary Wheeler and Gadwin Springer have all agreed to two-year contracts for the 2020 and 2021 seasons and Hakim Miloudi, Bodene Thompson and Josh McCrone have been re-signed for the 2020 season.
© League Express (Mon 2nd Dec 2019)