Kyle Eastmond: Leeds Rhinos sign dual code international on return to rugby league

Kyle Eastmond played with Leeds Rhinos assistant Sean Long during his time with St Helens earlier in his career
Kyle Eastmond played with Leeds Rhinos assistant Sean Long during his time with St Helens earlier in his career

Leeds Rhinos have signed Kyle Eastmond on a two-year contract as he returns to rugby league after a nine-year stint playing rugby union.

The 31-year-old began playing league with St Helens in 2007 before switching codes to join Bath in October 2011.

Winning six England caps while with Bath, he later joined Wasps and then Leicester, until his release last term.

"Just like the timing was right when I went to union, the time is right for me to come back to league," he said.

"I was coached by [Leeds boss] Richard Agar when I was younger and obviously played alongside [assistant coach] Sean Long at Saints.

"This move is about me playing my very best rugby and I think this environment and this group of staff and players gives me confidence that I can do that."

Eastmond played against Leeds in the 2009 Super League Grand Final, scoring all 10 of Saints' points in their 18-10 defeat.

He went on to win four England caps in the 13-man code before joining Bath, where he made 72 Premiership appearances for the club.

Eastmond started five Tests in his six England appearances in union, three of them against New Zealand, and scored one try, on his first start against Argentina.

He later joined Wasps for a two-season spell in 2016 and joined Leicester in 2018, where he made 24 appearances before leaving the club at the end of the coronavirus-impacted 2019-20 season.

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