McGuire retains desire for glory
Danny McGuire is planning to remain at the top of rugby league for a few more years yet.
The 30-year-old half-back, now in his 13th season with Leeds Rhinos, will celebrate his testimonial with a match against Bradford Bulls at Headingley on Sunday.
Yet there is no danger of McGuire slowing down as he plots further success with the defending Super League champions, in addition to a potential England recall.
“I’ve signed a new three-year contract and I still feel relatively good,” he said.
“If I look after myself, there is no reason why I can’t go on for a few more years yet. I’m fortunate to be with a good club who look after us.
“I still have ambitions to get back involved with England. It’s all building nicely for the World Cup and I hope we can make it a tournament to remember.
“I think we’ve got 35 players capable of being involved but hopefully I can put myself in the frame.”
Leeds are this week honing their preparations for the new season with a warm-weather training camp in Portugal, having escaped the latest wintry blast in England.
“It couldn’t have come at a better time,” admitted McGuire. “We’ve had a good couple of days training so far.
“The complex is good and we’re spending quality time together. It’s all about fine-turning. We can get plenty of skills work done and work on partnerships and things like that.”
Rhinos coach Brian McDermott will field a full-strength side against Bradford, with the exception of Stevie Ward who is recovering from a shoulder injury, for their last warm-up game before they launch the defence of their crown against Hull FC on February 1.
McDermott is hoping for a bumper turn-out on Sunday to reward one of the club’s greatest servants.
“Danny will go down as one of Leeds’ all-time great players,” he said.
“It’s a chance to recognise the service he has given to Leeds and I hope the fans turn out in force. He’s had a remarkable career and he hasn’t finished yet.”
McGuire, who became Super League’s leading tryscorer when he went over for his 200th touchdown in the opening round of the play-offs last September, won his sixth Grand Final a month later and believes the Rhinos are looking good to complete a second hat-trick of titles in seven years.
“I think we’re looking very good this year,” he said.
“We’ve strengthened and the new lads have come in and fitted in really well. They’ve added something to the team and the younger lads are putting pressure on us older guys as well.”