Danny McGuire: Leeds Rhinos legend ready to start life at Hull KR

Danny McGuire
Danny McGuire celebrated Super League Grand Final success against Castleford Tigers in October with his son

You would not have thought much could faze the leading try-scorer in Super League history.

Especially a man with eight Super League winners' rings, three World Club Challenges and two Challenge Cups under his belt.

But after ending a 22-year association with Leeds Rhinos in July, Danny McGuire says walking into the changing room at his new club Hull KR was like going back to secondary school.

"It felt like that first day," the 35-year-old half-back told BBC Sport. "Rugby players are quite respectful, I didn't want to go and pinch someone's locker or sit where someone else sat in the changing room.

"But it's a great club, they're a great set of lads and it's been easy to fit in. They're really confident coming up from last season, I've loved every minute so far.

"The lads accepted me easily, for me I've got to earn their respect and the only way to do that is to train hard, to compete on the training field."

A conflict of interest

McGuire may be adjusting to life in East Yorkshire ahead of Rovers' Super League opener against Wakefield on Friday, 2 February, but his young son is also having to get used to seeing his dad in a different jersey.

"He's a bit conflicted," McGuire added. "He's still got Rhinos stuff and still wears it, but I bought him the Rovers stuff too.

"He wears that, he's in the Red Robin club and sings the Red, Red Robin song - he knows it better than me. He's only young though so he's easily changeable and easily affected.

"I'll always love Leeds, it's my city and my club, but right now I've got this shirt on and this is the club I'm going to try to do my best for."

Sheens of quality

Tim Sheens
Tim Sheens won the Rugby League World Cup with Australia in 2013

McGuire has worked with an impressive roll call of coaches at Leeds - from ex-Great Britain boss Tony Smith, to Kiwi Brian McClennan and most recently Brian McDermott with whom he enjoyed four Grand Final successes and lifted the Challenge Cup at Wembley in 2014 and 2015.

However, even their records pale in comparison to Rovers boss Tim Sheens, who lists World Cup triumph and four Australian rugby league premierships on his curriculum vitae.

Sheens worked with stars of the game such as Mal Meninga, Brett Mullins and Laurie Daley at Canberra, Benji Marshall and Brett Hodgson at Wests Tigers and current stars Billy Slater, Cameron Smith and Cooper Cronk while Australia boss.

"He's been really good," England and Great Britain international McGuire added. "I feel like I'm learning every day, it's quite challenging, he wants me to do some different things and he's taking me out of my comfort zone a little bit which is good.

"I still feel I'm adapting to the way he and the lads want to play but it's an exciting challenge and hopefully will bring out the best in me."

Back in the big time

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McGuire stars as Leeds make Grand Final history

As McGuire was lifting the Super League trophy aloft at Old Trafford following victory over Castleford in October, Hull KR were already planning for life in the top flight after securing their return after a year in the Championship.

Their promotion ensures the revival of the Hull derby - pitting Hull FC against their cross-city rivals.

"Without Rovers, Super League was a lesser competition," McGuire said. "It missed the derbies and the level of fan-base and support, so everyone is excited about that.

"I got a little taste of the derby in the friendly and it shocked me a bit, it was quite intense for a friendly. I wasn't prepared for it, but I will be when it comes to the league game next time.

"It's one of the reasons I made a decision to come, Hull have had a great few years winning Challenge Cups and Rovers want to be challenging with them."