Sunday, 24 February 2013

Leeds Rhinos visit February 2013

For two lucky young journalists from The Fieldhead Focus, February 6th 2013 will be a day they will remember for the rest of their lives.

Jack and Ellie were chosen to come with Mr Riley, Miss Stevens and of course the Fish Finger Monster to visit the hallowed ground of Headingley - home of the mighty Leeds Rhinos.

During our visit we got a guided tour of the stadium, saw what a horrible mess Hull FC made of the away changing room (it stank after they'd been in there - ask Miss Stevens!), sat on the home team changing room benches, held the Super League and World Club Challenge trophies, stuffed the Fish Finger Monster in one of them but sadly couldn't drive off in time before he escaped again, saw a whole host of international rugby league stars and then to top it all off... we interviewed Leeds and England legend Jamie Jones Buchanan and here's what he had to say...

What inspired you to play rugby when you were a child?
I started playing rugby league because my next door neighbours played. They were the biggest kids in the street so I wanted to be like them!
How do you keep yourself calm for the big games?
If I do look calm then it’s an act because I’m not! I’m pretty confident going into a game because I take great confidence from our training and preparation during the week and I also have confidence in the other players because I trust them and [the rest of the team] means a lot to me.
If you weren’t a rugby league player what would you be doing?
I’d have to say social worker because I like to help people in the community and I still do a lot of that in my spare time. If not a social worker then maybe an architect because I’m interested in buildings and in fact I’ve just started to build a house with my mum which I have designed myself!
How do you keep fit and healthy and how do you avoid injury?
The best way to avoid injury is by being fit and healthy! I make sure I get a good amount of sleep and I eat the ‘paleo’ diet. This is the diet that cavemen used to eat and involves no processed food or bread. Ian Kirke’s on it too and he calls bread ‘the devil’! I also do some extra work at home away from training. People who put extra work in are usually the ones who reap the rewards in rugby league; you get out what you put in.
When you were a young player in the academy did any other clubs try to sign you and if so then why did you stay at Leeds?
I did have a few offers from other clubs but I decided to stay because I love it at Leeds. I’m from Leeds, my family’s here and I grew up round the corner from Headingley so it’s always been a big part of my life both then and now.
You don’t fancy signing for Wigan then?
Ha ha – no thank you!
How was pre-season training in Portugal?
It was really good, actually. We went there for a a good week of warm weather training which was helpful because you can’t predict the weather over here at this time of year. It guaranteed us good weather so we were able to practice moves and drills we may not have been able to do in the snow so it was a useful trip.
Tea or coffee?

Tea! With honey instead of sugar though.
Summer or winter?
Oooooh, summer but not when it’s too hot. It’s also nicer for the fans in the summer so they’re not standing there freezing on the terraces! The game flows more freely when the gounds are firm and the weather’s warmer as well.
Training or match day?
Good question! I suppose I’d have to say both because the training sessions build you up for game day so you can’t really have one without the other. I suppose the only difference on game day is there’s 17 big lads trying to hurt you!
Rugby union or football?
Football, definitely football!

Any regrets?
I don’t really have regrets, I try and learn from the things that don’t go my way in life. I see failures as lessons in life and try to take something positive from them so I can try to do better next time.
Favourite holiday destination?
Bramley, seriously! I like playing in my garden! Honestly, I like Centre Parks as I prefer to go somewhere in the UK with my kids.
Who do you like best, Danny Maguire or Rob Burrow?
Neither, ha ha. Are they ever going to read this?
Who’s the hardest player to play against in the Super League?
Sam Tomkins of Wigan. Terrific player. He’s like a chicken because he never stops running and he’s almost impossible to grab hold of, and when you do get hold of him you want to ring his neck for giving you the run around!
Cat or dog?
I’ve got both but I’d have to say dog as they’re more loyal.

Christmas or Easter?
As a Christian I’d say Easter is the most important holiday to celebrate, but I also enjoy Christmas with my family
Blackpool or Bondi?
Blackpool, every time! I love going anywhere in the UK.

Hardest team you’ve faced in your career?
St Helens. Other teams have had their day and been up and down but over my career St Helens have always been up there and they have the best record against the Rhinos over the past ten or eleven years.

It was a fascinating experience and one of the best days of our lives getting to see the Rhinos behind the scenes and interview Jamie Jones-Buchanan – one of the greatest players in the Leeds team.

1 comment:

  1. This is very intresting mr riley i enjoyed reading this and my dad could not belive his eyes when i told him he did not belive me:) Billie-Jo