No man knows what it takes to win the Super League trophy more than Jamie Peacock.
After all, no player has won more Grand Finals than the 2003 Man of Steel who won three at Bradford Bulls even captaining the club to glory in 2005 before winning a further six Grand Finals with boyhood club Leeds Rhinos culminating in the treble in 2015.
With nine Grand Final wins to his name, no player has as many Grand Final Winner’s Rings as the former Leeds number 10 with teammates Danny McGuire and Rob Burrow the closest to his tally of nine with eight each.
Even current Super League star James Roby who is regarded by some as the greatest player in the competition’s history only has just over half the Grand Final wins Peacock has to his name demonstrating the consistency he showed during Grand Final time.
An experienced winner at the Theatre of Dreams, Peacock has told Sky Sports that he thinks Leeds Rhinos have what it takes to challenge for the trophy in 2022 as they look to end a five year wait for glory, the longest wait endured by the club since their maiden Grand Final triumph in 2004 oddly against Peacock’s Bradford.
The reason behind Peacock’s lofty expectations for his former side? Leeds’ recruitment.
“I think Leeds Rhinos are going to challenge this year,” Peacock told Sky Sports whose coverage of the new season starts with a Grand Final rematch on February 10th, “They’ve made four fantastic signings.”
These signings are of course exciting halfbacks Aidan Sezer and Blake Austin who know each other well from their time at Canberra whilst David Fusitu’a offers attacking pedigree on the right wing and James Bentley will provide extra Peacock-like bite in the middle of the field.
However, Peacock does believe Saints are still the team to beat: “The Saints side at the moment is absolutely brilliant with three finals and three wins in a row.
“But I think they’re going to get challenged by Catalans and Leeds Rhinos – I think it’s going to be those three.”
Peacock, like former skipper Kevin Sinfield, is preparing to do his bit for charity with a 100-mile run around London in support of Greenhouse Sports come April.
On this, he told Sky: “Kev is really resilient, and I could tell, because you can see in people’s eyes when you’ve got a good relationship with them, that he was well and truly in the hurt locker.
“I’ve seen him in tough days in tough training sessions and I reckon he was deeper in that hurt locker in that run. It made it feel very, very real to me running that little bit with Kev.
“But the guys at the Rhinos, we just like being involved and doing the right things for charity. I think you’ve got a duty if you’re in the public eye to do something for charity and why not make it a big challenge along the way?
“That’s going to be the challenge, psychologically, when we’ve been around once. I remember when we got to the back in the double marathon, and it began to bite.
“It got difficult, and we’ll have to do all that again to get round. With a challenge like that, you can train as much as you want but it’s just mentally in the last eight to 10 hours, battling against yourself and being able to push yourself through.
“But plenty of people have done these kinds of distances before like my ex-captain at the Rhinos Kev, so I’ll be leaning on him for advice along the way.”