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Page last updated at 09:29 GMT, Wednesday, 23 April 2008 10:29 UK

Paul completes Leeds code switch

Henry Paul in action for Harlequins
Paul won 24 rugby league caps for New Zealand

Relegated Leeds Carnegie have signed Henry Paul from rugby league club Harlequins on a two-year contract.

The 34-year-old will join Leeds' National League One campaign at the end of the Super League season.

"I am looking forward to the challenge of helping the club get back in the Premiership next season," he said.

Paul, who earned 24 caps for New Zealand in rugby league, had a previous spell in union with Gloucester and won six England caps before joining Quins.

Leeds have already released 14 players following their relegation.

Paul, who shone on the Sevens circuit for England during his last union stint, added: "I always said it was my intention to finish playing rugby league this summer and by coming home this is a great way to finish my career.

"I would love to bring a team back into the Premiership, so that is a massive goal.

606: DEBATE
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"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 want to prove myself - as a footy player you have to prove yourself every game.

"It's a big city and if we get a winning team people will want to come and watch.

"My job in the team will be to let loose a few other players and tackle my guts out."

Leeds director of rugby Stuart Lancaster said Paul's signing could help the club follow in the footsteps of Harlequins and Northampton by bouncing back at the first time of asking.

"Players of his quality and experience rarely become available and his signing is great news for our club," said 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."


see also
Paul preparing to hang up boots
11 Jan 08 |  Harlequins
Paul returns to league with Quins
27 Apr 06 |  Harlequins
Gloucester confirm Paul switch
25 Jul 01 |  Rugby League


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