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7th February 2018, 08:50 | super_league

McGuire happy to take on Rhinos at Elland Road

McGuire happy to take on Rhinos at Elland Road

Hull KR half-back Danny McGuire is delighted his hometown return will be at Elland Road and that is only partly due to his love for Leeds United.

McGuire spent 22 years with Leeds Rhinos and made more than 450 appearances before bringing it all to a fitting close by leading them to an eighth Betfred Super League title in October.

The 35-year-old then joined promoted Rovers on a two-year contract and faces an early reunion with his old team-mates on Thursday.

But the round two game will not be played at Headingley due to ongoing development work.

“It’s good that it’s out of the way so early and I think it’s a bit easier with it being at Elland Road rather than Headingley,” McGuire said.

“That would have been a tough one, to go into the away changing rooms, but I’m looking forward to it.

“I’ve always enjoyed playing there. It’s a fantastic venue and, being a Leeds United fan, there’s something to be excited about.”

McGuire says he has settled in well after a nervy start.

“It’s not been that difficult to be honest,” he said. “The first couple of days were a bit daunting, a bit like your first days at school, but it’s a good club with a really good set of lads.

“I’ve enjoyed the different training I’ve been doing and I’m enjoying the challenge.

“I wanted to carry on playing and I felt a new challenge would refresh me and it certainly has. I feel I’ve still got a lot left to give.”

McGuire is set to go up against 14 of the players he helped guide to Grand Final glory with a man-of-the-match performance against Castleford Tigers at Old Trafford.

Rhinos coach Brian McDermott says the former England half-back, who made his Rovers debut in their opening-round defeat by Wakefield Trinity, deserves a “brilliant” reception from the Leeds fans and McGuire still clearly has a strong bond with the club.

“I left on brilliant terms,” said McGuire, who also won three Dacia World Club Challenges and two Ladbrokes Challenge Cups wearing the blue and amber.

“I love the club, I love everything about it. I had an unbelievable time there for 20-odd years and I’ll never have a bad word to say about the club.

“Obviously I wish them all the success, except of course when they play against Rovers.

“I’m not really sure how I’ll feel on Thursday but I’m pretty competitive, I want to win. Once you pull on the shirt, I’m representing Rovers now and I’ll be doing my best for the club and the badge.”

In Thursday’s other game, Huddersfield Giants and Warrington Wolves will both be out to break their duck when they meet at the John Smith’s Stadium.

The Wolves lost 16-12 to Leeds in their first game under new coach Steve Price while the Giants are aiming to bounce back from a 38-12 defeat at Hull FC.

Huddersfield coach Rick Stone said: “Generally everyone wants to win the first one and, when they don’t, there’s a little of bounce back in week two so the two teams will be pretty desperate. You definitely don’t want to lose your first two games.”