11th August 2010
In Profile - Jamie Peacock
In 2009, Peacock missed just one game whilst away with England in France and he performed like a man who had a date with destiny. He collected his sixth Grand Final winners ring with a commanding performance against St Helens.
He joined the Rhinos in 2006 and has contributed so much to the team in that time with a never say die attitude that has made him one of the game’s most feared opponents.
His list of honours are evidence of his talent but his determination to go on and win more and be the best illustrates why he is one of the country’s most inspirational sportsmen.
Leeds born Peacock joined the club he supported as a boy in 2006 from local rivals Bradford Bulls. During his time with the Bulls he won every honour available, with Grand Final, Challenge Cup and World Club Challenge honours to his credit and Jamie has been recognised as being one of the key ingredients of this success.
He has rightly gained a reputation as one of the best forwards in world rugby and is a player who has gained respect from not just the fans but the critics as well as his peers, winning such accolades as Man of Steel, Players’ Player of the Year and Rugby League Writers’ Player of the Year.
Just four months after this Jamie was pulling on the blue and amber jersey for the first time, making his Rhinos debut on the opening day of the season against Huddersfield. He made 29 starts for the team last year, scored 3 tries and once again proved his leadership qualities when he was named as captain in Kevin Sinfield’s absence.
Jamie is a product of the Bulls junior programme, but first began playing rugby with Stanningley ARLFC having been born and brought up in Leeds. On his way to becoming a first team regular for the Bradford Bulls Jamie spent a month on loan at Featherstone Rovers and that season made four appearances and scored one try.
He also enjoyed a spell at Woolongong University in Australia as he learned his rugby trade. He made his Super League debut in 1999 for Bradford, making two starts and 16 substitute appearances for the club, scoring six tries.
However, it was the following year that he really cemented his place in the side helping the Bulls to Challenge Cup success over Leeds at Murrayfield and earned himself a place in John Kear’s England side for the World Cup. He made four appearances in the World Cup that year, scoring an impressive six tries which including a hat trick against Fiji at Headingley.
The following season he continued his rise to the top, featuring in 31 games for the Bulls in their march to Grand Final glory against Wigan at Old Trafford despite the disappointment of defeat to St Helens in the Challenge Cup Final at Twickenham. He capped the season by making his Great Britain debut against Australia scoring a try on his debut in the first test victory at Huddersfield.
He has since become a permanent presence in the Great Britain squad making 14 appearances, all but three of which have been in the starting line up. 2002 saw Peacock play a major role in the Bulls World Club Challenge success over Newcastle Knights and made 30 appearances as the Bulls again returned to Old Trafford only to lose out to a Sean Long drop goal.
However, the Bulls and Peacock in particular were unstoppable as they captured the Challenge Cup, League Leaders and Grand Final trophies ahead of Leeds and Wigan respectively and Peacock was named Players Player of the Year, Rugby League Writers Player of the Year and Man of Steel.
The Bulls once again lifted the World Club Challenge trophy, defeating Penrith Panthers at the start of 2004 and battled all the way with the Rhinos to Old Trafford were Leeds finally got the advantage over their old nemesis. Peacock was honoured with the captaincy at Bradford in his final year at Odsal and helped the side claim the 2005 Super League Trophy when the side defeated the Rhinos in the final at Old Trafford.
He ended the 2005 season by leading the Great Britain side in the Tri Nations tournament. He retained the captaincy for the 2006 trip down under and his outstanding performances led to him being named as the best forward in the world.
In 2007 he was given the honour of captaining Great Britain in the series whitewash over New Zealand and the following year he led the England team to the semi final of the Rugby League World Cup in Australia and to the final of the Four Nations tournament.