When any player plays well, their form and skill does not go unnoticed and for Tom Briscoe, who was in stellar form with a lot of clubs keeping an eye on him, he made his choice and move – a 5-year deal with Super League heavyweights, the Leeds Rhinos.
Still only 23, Briscoe played in 130 games for Hull FC since making his debut in 2008 and has been named in the England squad for the World Cup and with 100 tries in his career so far, Briscoe is excited about his new career move.
“I am really pleased to have my future sorted out before the focus turns to the World Cup with England,” said Briscoe.
“I was conscious that I did not want to rush into a decision and took my time before deciding what was the right move for me and my career.
I came very close to moving to Australia and signing for Cronulla on a three year deal but the attraction of Leeds and the exciting times that are ahead here at Headingley Carnegie changed things for me.
With the lure of playing in the NRL looming, it was Leeds that Briscoe chose based on discussions with current Leeds players in the England squad that convinced him it was the place to be.
“I spoke to a couple of the Leeds lads who are in the England squad and they could not speak highly enough about how the club is run on and off the field.
Likewise, my younger brother Luke is already here and he loves being part of the Rhinos. The chance to maybe play alongside him in the future is something that remains an ambition for both of us,” added Briscoe.
The club is just as excited to have signed Briscoe, with Chief Executive Gary Hetherington unable to hide his excitement in signing the talented winger.
“Everyone was aware of Tom’s intention to leave Hull FC at the end of the season and a lot of the speculation was that he would move to Australia,” said Hetherington.
“He was given the go ahead to speak to other clubs and our approach was made at the same time as he was going to accept the Cronulla offer.
We outlined our offer and it was decided to leave the decision with Tom with the offer remaining ‘on the table’ until the end of this season. Tom put off his decision with Cronulla and eventually informed them of his decision not to accept. He later contacted me to accept our offer.
With some NRL players taking the lure of the NRL, Hetherington is pleased to see Briscoe not only signing for Leeds but also for staying in the Super League and rejecting the overtures of the NRL.
“I’m very pleased because we’ve signed a 23-year old World Class player who has committed his best years to the Rhinos and at the same time, rejected the lure of the NRL,” said Hetherington.
It’s a good day for the Rhinos and the Super League. I think it’s a very significant signing for the Rhinos, one of the biggest we’ve made and it ranks alongside those of Iestyn Harris, Keith Senior, Gareth Ellis and Jamie Peacock.”
With a squad position open due to the departure of prop Darrell Griffin, the space was there to sign Briscoe – as the club also looks to promote more youngsters next season.
Someone else who is pleased to see Briscoe now at Leeds and looks forward to working with him, is coach Brian McDermott.
“Tom is a fantastic talent and someone who I am sure will be a considerable addition to our existing squad for next season,” said McDermott.
“As this season as shown, to compete at the highest level in the modern era takes a strong squad that is able to deal with the challenges that are thrown at you over the course of a season and adding a player of Tom’s quality to our group is a huge boost for us.
Of equal importance to his talent and ability, is Tom’s character and he is highly regarded by everyone who has worked with him throughout his career. We look forward to having him with us for next season and wish him and the rest of the England boys the best of luck for the World Cup.”