Paul determined to inspire Premiership return
April 23, 2008
Henry Paul today accepted returning Leeds Carnegie to the Guinness Premiership as his final career challenge after signing a two-year deal at Headingley.
Paul, 34, will quit Harlequins rugby league side whenever their interest in the current engage Super League season ends to cross codes once more.
A dual international - he won six caps for England during his time at Gloucester after playing 24 times for New Zealand at rugby league - this is his third switch between league and union.
''A couple of things aren't finished for me,'' said Paul, who was revealed by the relegated Premiership club this morning.
''I would love to bring a team back into the Premiership, so that is a massive goal.
''This will be my last contract, I had a great run with the national set-up in my previous spell, I thoroughly loved playing sevens but I didn't leave rugby union where I wanted to.
''I love both forms of the game; I loved my time down at Harlequins but I was just looking for a change.
''Leeds was just something that I viewed as a really big challenge and I still
''It's a big city and if we get a winning team people will want to come and watch.''
Paul's impending transfer means no break at all between seasons but that is not something that bothers him.
''I will try to keep the body as fresh as possible,'' said Paul.
''I have a lot of hunger to do both. ''It's an amazing career, so I want to keep going while I can.
''I think I have been playing consistently over the last few seasons and I just want to continue that.
''My job in the team will be to let loose a few other players and tackle my guts out.''
It is 15 years since Paul began making a name for himself in rugby league a dozen miles down the road at Wakefield.
Trophies followed him like a magnet in the early part of his career, in fact, during stints at Wigan and Bradford.
But his all-round game has developed considerably since those days as a playmaker and he has been pencilled in to finish his career in the centre by Leeds' coaching staff.
''Players of his quality and experience rarely become available and hissigning is great news for our club,'' said Leeds director of rugby Stuart Lancaster.
''Henry has played at the highest level consistently in both codes and his experience will be invaluable.
''For some of our younger players coming through he will be a real role model - for me he ticks all the boxes.
''His desire to make a difference really impressed me. Everyone I spoke to bar none said he was a real professional on and off the field.''
Having made their high-profile acquisition, Leeds will be hoping to emulate the feats of Harlequins and Northampton in returning to the top-flight at the first time of asking.
Leeds chief executive Gary Hetherington said: ''We need to use the parachute payments wisely.
''There is pressure to get back up as from a financial point of view next year there's very significant funding which won't be there the following year.''