EASTWOOD EYES UP NEXT CHALLENGE
"Bring on Manly!" That was the call from Leeds Rhinos’ new signing Greg Eastwood after the second-row helped make rugby league history.
‘Bring on Manly!" That was the call from Leeds Rhinos’ new signing Greg Eastwood after the second-row helped make rugby league history as a member of the New Zealand team that won a memorable World Cup final in Brisbane. The 21-year-old, who will join the Super League champions in a month’s time, said he was looking forward to doing his bit to help Leeds win the World Club Challenge in March after enjoying the high point of his fledgling international career on Saturday night. New Zealand were full value for a six-try victory which left Eastwood in wonderland before he joins the Super League champions on a three-year contract. "It’s unbelieveable, just unbelievable," the second rower told the Yorkshire Evening Post. "We knew we could do it, we had the belief we could do it and we never doubted that we would do it. But the feeling is just amazing. "This will be one to look back on and tell my kids and grandkids that I played in a World Cup-winning team when I was only 21. Hopefully, it’s the first of many." It was a night of many firsts in front of a crowd of 50,559: the first time New Zealand had won a World Cup tie against Australia in 14 attempts, the first time the Kiwis had lifted a trophy that was first contested in 1954, the first time New Zealand had beaten Australia since the Tri Nations final at Leeds in 2005. Then, as now, New Zealand had the air of a group of men on a mission, a team that was fated to endure and finally prevail against the most formidable side in the world. Brian McClennan, the Leeds coach who gave Auckland-born and raised Eastwood his first cap, was in charge on that memorable night at Elland Road and spoke to his young protege on Saturday night. "’Bluey’ sent me a text earlier in the week to wish me well and we had a little chat on the phone in the dressing room afterwards," said Eastwood. "He’s a proud Kiwi, we’re all proud Kiwis and I think we did our nation proud tonight." Tickets are on sale now for the Carnegie World Club Challenge against Manly Sea Eagles at Elland Road on Sunday 1st March, kick off 6pm. Call 0871 423 1315 to book your ticket now or call in at the Headingley Carnegie ticket office.