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Page last updated at 16:16 GMT, Monday, 30 November 2009

Titterrell keen to stay at Leeds

Andy Titterrell
Titterrell spent two seasons at Gloucester

Hooker Andy Titterrell says he wants to earn a permanent contract at Leeds Carnegie after joining on an initial three-month deal.

The 28-year-old former England player has been without a club since leaving Gloucester in the summer.

"I hope to stay here for longer and if something does come up then brilliant," Titterrell told BBC Radio Leeds.

"If it doesn't then hopefully I'll have done my bit to help the team and will shake all the guys hands."

Titterrell started his career at Sale Sharks where he spent seven years and won the Guinness Premiership title in 2006.

In 2004 he gained his first cap for England against the All Blacks in Auckland and went on to win five caps in total and was selected to tour with the British and Irish Lions in 2005.

In 2007 he moved to Gloucester and made 30 appearances for the Cherry and Whites in two seasons before controversially leaving halfway through pre-season.

"I was told by Dean Ryan [former Gloucester director of rugby] that I should look for a new club as I was not written into the budget for the new season. Although I still had a year left on my contract," explained Titterrell.

"Then Bryan Redpath took over and said he wanted me to stay, which was great for me. But then I was told four weeks before our first game that the board had met and there was still no room for me and a few others.

"It was a very stressful time for me and my family, but I used it to setup a few business interests and to rediscover what drove me to actually enjoy playing the game.

"I don't think the way I and some of the other players were treated at Gloucester was right. I really enjoyed my time there because the players and coaches were great and I still wish them well.

Titterrell will be available for Friday night's home Premiership clash with Harlequins and will fight for a first-team place with Vili Ma'asi and Phil Nilsen as Rob Rawlinson is still out injured.

"I have kept myself fit while I've been out of the game. I've been working hard with some conditioned friends.

I saw something great grow at Sale as we went on to win trophies and there is no reason why that can't happen at Leeds

Andy Titterrell

"I haven't been letting off at all on my conditioning as I take that part of my game very seriously and I've actually made some good gains.

"Match fitness will be a bit of an issue, but hopefully it will be like riding a bike and I'll be able to take to it straight away and I'll give it 100 percent in training and when I actually play.

"I think I have found my drive again for rugby. I started at Sale at 19-years-old and we were scraping around the bottom of the league.

"I saw something great grow at Sale as we went on to win trophies and there is no reason why that can't happen at Leeds.

"When Leeds stay up they'll be able to build year on year and where I come in is to ease the pressure on the other three hookers and bring some more experience to the side."

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