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Cuthbertson: I’m enjoying my footy again

21 Mar 20, 8:06AM 0 Comments

Written by John Davidson

Photo by Getty Images

Leeds Rhinos prop Adam Cuthbertson says rediscovering his love for the game is the main reason behind his impressive form this season.

Cuthbertson has played every game for the Rhinos in 2020, with the club notching four wins from five games. The Australian has scored one try, recorded two try assists and is averaging two offloads, 12 carries, 91.8 metres and 18.6 tackles per match.

At 35 the forward is in his 15th year as a professional but after a difficult 2019 campaign, which saw Leeds battle against relegation, he puts his recent performances down to getting his enjoyment back under coach Richard Agar.

“For me, I’ve always just tried to play the game,” the former Manly and Newcastle front-rower told Everything Rugby League.

“I love the purity of rugby league, I love the old-fashioned way of playing the game, a bit more eyes-up, not so structured and you just play to your strengths. To have that clarity throughout the team where everyone has each other’s backs and wants to help each other get better and become united as a team.

“So we’re a smooth-running machine. And then to establish the culture and understand and have the honesty, pre-season’s allowed me to come in and people understand each other’s jobs and what they’re good at.

“Which has helped me a lot, but mainly the biggest reason I’ve started to play well again is I’m just enjoying my rugby again. I’m fit in the sense that I’m not carrying any injuries and I’m just enjoying getting out there and playing some eyes-up rugby and playing the game how it should be.

“Which is lead by Rich Agar and the rest of the coaching staff. The point of difference at training has helped me as well, having some staff such as Jonesy in running defence has helped as well.

“He’s like a breath of fresh air as he thinks outside the box, he challenges you and if training’s quite repetitive and you’re not being challenged, then it can burn you out a bit. What Rich and the rest of the coaching staff are trying to do is challenge us and get the best out of us.

“I’m just enjoying myself, which makes it a lot more enjoyable playing the game.”

Cuthbertson is off-contract at Headingley at the end of 2020, after signing a two-year extension in June 2018.

The prop admits he is unsure if he will still be playing in Super League next year, or if he will retire.

“I haven’t decided anything just yet,” he said.

“I probably won’t be able to make that decision for a while depending on how things are going. I don’t know…. I speak to a lot of good mates who played at a high level for a long time, like Kevin Sinfield, Danny McGuire and Jamie Peacock, and they’ve said continue playing as long as you’re enjoying it.

“If your body’s good, keep playing. But there is a lot to consider – there may not be a contract available for me at the club beyond next year, and obviously health and what the family needs.

“I’ve been away from Australia going on six years, so it’s a fair while now and my parents and my partner’s parents aren’t getting any younger.

“My young boy doesn’t get to a spend a lot of time with his family abroad. There’s a lot to consider.”

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