Danny McGuire says Leeds Rhinos legacy won't override Hull KR love ahead of reunion

Danny McGuire has played down the importance that he is set to coach against Leeds Rhinos for the first time on Friday evening. The Rovers coach is immortal at Headingley, making over 450 appearances and winning 16 trophies over a 17-year stint with the Rhinos. Still, McGuire now has found a new devotion in his life, with Hull KR becoming his sole focus and project since making a move to East Hull in 2018.

When asked about the context of Friday’s game, McGuire understands why the media will focus on his relationship with the opposition but stated why he believes it’s wrong to look back on the past, as he admitted Rovers is his future and his home for the long-haul.

“In a way, this game does mean more,” said McGuire. “I think when I went back and played Leeds, I wanted to win and get the job done, and that doesn’t change here. I will prepare the team exactly the same as usual. Leeds are a great team, and their new coach has brought some energy around the club. But the focus is on us. To be honest, I will always have a connection with Leeds due to the amount of time I spent at the Rhinos, but now my connection and love is for Rovers.

“I really feel part of the fabric of the club, so my emotions won’t be too high. Suppose you’d asked me that three years ago, totally different response. Still, Leeds has changed, and there are not many players still playing who I took to the field with. I don’t feel a connection to Leeds anymore. I still like to see them do well, but my focus is Hull KR and what we are doing because we are on the rise.”

It’s not just McGuire who has built a strong association with the Rhinos over the years, as his family and friends all reside in the City and have grown up watching the Robins coach become a legend in West Yorkshire. However, the former East Leeds amateur firmly believes his loved ones have moved with the times, and their focus and passion now lie in the East of Hull.

“Look, pretty much all of my family are Rhinos fans, they have grown up with me playing for them, but now they have more of a connection with Rovers. Of course, I’ll get stick when I go into the local shop as I still live in Leeds, but sport moves on quickly, and my chapter is now with Hull KR.

“Most of my family are coming over, and I’m pretty confident they’ll all be signing for the Red and Whites. All my family are mad Leeds United fans and have that connection with the City, but times have changed, and now we have that with Rovers, and Friday will be no different.”

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