Joe Greenwood exits Leeds Rhinos after frustrating loan spell

SportRugby League

IT IS rare for a player to complete a loan spell without playing a single game but these are, of course, unusual times.

Tuesday, 5th May 2020, 6:56 am FRUSTRATION: Second-row Joe Greenwood endured a frustrating loan spell with Leeds Rhinos. Picture: Bruce Rollinson Copyright: JPIMedia

England second-row Joe Greenwood found himself in that bizarre situation yesterday when it was confirmed his temporary deal with Leeds Rhinos had come to an end without him ever stepping on the pitch. He joined from Wigan Warriors on a two-month loan switch in February but initially could not force his way into Richard Agar's matchday 17 and then saw the sport shutdown in mid-March due to the coronavirus. Ironically, Greenwood was due to debut against Catalans Dragons in Perpignan only to become the initially unnamed player who showed symptoms of Covid-19 on the eve of the game leading to it being postponed.

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Leeds Rhinos coach, Richard Agar.

Picture: Simon Hulme Copyright: JPIMedia Ltd Resell Admittedly, the former St Helens and Gold Coast Titans forward's test did come back negative but it highlights the sort of rotten luck the 27-year-old has encountered during his brief 'stay' at Emerald Headingley. With players furloughed and taking pay cuts plus no sign of games imminently resuming, it is understandable why Rhinos have opted against extending his stay.

"Firstly, I would like to wish Joe all the best for the remainder of the season with Wigan," said Leeds director of rugby Kevin Sinfield. "He has been the ultimate professional throughout his time at the Rhinos especially during an unprecedented period of change. "He has been a popular member of our group.

Unfortunately, things have not worked out and we have had to make a financial decision while we are on lockdown. "However, he leaves with our very best wishes." Meanwhile, Dewsbury Rams chairman Mark Sawyer says rugby league must be prepared for "at least 12 very, very difficult months."

Like all clubs, the Championship outfit are trying to cut their cloth accordingly as the pandemic goes on. They have taken comfort from the RFL's success in securing an emergency GBP16m loan from the Government. Sawyer said: "I think all clubs will apply for it as it's going to be a serious task just keeping the show on the road.

There's a lot of expenses. At Dewsbury, we had many income streams on site at our stadium such as all-weather pitches, the Sunday market, HGV training, motorbike training and all sorts but everything just finished overnight. "It was very difficult and it's also difficult to identify any income streams that are going to be unaffected moving forward.

"It's going to be at least 12 very, very difficult months. But, at the same time, there is some money there now to offer as cash flow to clubs to keep them ticking over. It's much needed."

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