Leeds Rhinos sign Nene Macdonald replacement in shape of NRL Grand Final winner

Leeds Rhinos have found their replacement centre for Nene Macdonald in the shape of NRL Grand Final winner Paul Momirovski from Sydney Roosters.

 

The 27-year-old has put pen to paper on a two-year deal with Super League giants Leeds from next season.

 

Momirovski is likely to be a direct replacement for Papua New Guinea international Macdonald, who left Headingley earlier this week.

 

 

 

Momirovski has made 60 appearances in the NRL for Wests Tigers, Melbourne Storm, Penrith Panthers and Sydney Roosters.

 

The Australian, who is of Macedonian heritage, helped the Panthers win the NRL Grand Final in 2021.

 

 

On joining the Rhinos, Momirovski said: “I am excited to be joining the Rhinos.

 

“As soon as I spoke to Rohan Smith, I felt that our philosophies on rugby league aligned and I thought it would be a great fit for me and the next chapter of my career.

 

“I still feel like I have got a lot to learn and working with the coaches and players at Leeds will benefit me.

 

“I have had the privilege of playing in some great teams in the NRL and I believe in always looking for ways to grow.

 

“When speaking to Trent Robinson, he spoke very highly of Rohan and the Rhinos and I think it will be a great combination with all the other boys at Leeds.

 

“Every move I have made in my career has improved me and helped me find my best style of rugby league.

 

“Moving to the other side of the word will be challenging, but I am excited about that.

 

“I can’t wait to play in front of the packed stadiums, the atmosphere looks insane and immersing myself in the culture in Leeds and Yorkshire.”

 

Rohan Smith delighted to welcome Paul Momirovski to Leeds Rhinos

 

Momirovski is due to get married in December in Australia and will then link up with his new team-mates in England at the start of 2024 before the new season gets underway.

 

 

Rhinos boss Rohan Smith said: “Paul is a player I watched coming through the Roosters system as a youngster.

 

“He is highly skilled with good footwork and someone who is a deep thinker on the game.

 

“He has great game awareness, especially with his work on defence, and is a big communicator on the field for whichever team he has been in.

 

“He has been in a number of strong NRL systems and worked with some of the game’s best modern coaches.

 

“As well as being a Grand Final winner with Penrith he has been involved in the finals with the Roosters and Melbourne so knows what it takes to challenge for silverware.

 

“Paul was a player we had identified for 2025 because he was contracted next season so it is great that we have been able to bring him in a year earlier, which is good news for the Rhinos.”

 

‘I think everyone benefits from the move’

Leeds chief executive Gary Hetherington said: “I would like to thank the Roosters and Paul’s management for helping to make this move go through so smoothly.

 

“I think everyone benefits from the move and I am certainly looking forward to seeing Paul pull on the Rhinos shirt next season and really make a name for himself here in Super League.”

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