Jamie Peacock relishing comeback for Leeds Rhinos

Jamie Peacock
Peacock was injured two weeks before last season's Challenge Cup final

Former Great Britain captain Jamie Peacock is relishing this weekend's comeback from a seven-month lay-off.

Just a week after Leeds and England colleague Danny McGuire returned from a similar knee problem, the pair are both due to meet Castleford on Friday night.

"It was great to see Danny McGuire make his comeback last week," said Peacock, 33. "Now I want to get back out there."

The Rhinos prop ironically suffered the knee injury against Cas in the corresponding fixture last August.

"It does seem like a long time ago but the last eight weeks have been the worst," admitted Peacock.

"I was back running and joining in at training but I had not been given the green light to play again," he explained.

"Thankfully that day has come now and I cannot wait."

With McGuire having already returned to action in Leeds' 34-16 victory over Crusaders on Easter Monday after his own seven-month absence, England coach Steve McNamara is delighted with their return to fitness.

"I have been in regular touch with both Jamie and Danny and am delighted that they're both back," said McNamara.

"They are world class players with considerable international experience who have important roles to play for both club and country.

"I know it may sound selfish but, from an England point of view, it's going to be great to have two players as fresh as Jamie and Danny available for selection for the match against the Exiles and the Four Nations.

"They've missed 11 or 12 rounds of Super League and though that's been frustrating for them and Leeds, the silver lining is that come the end of the year they are going to be pretty sharp."

Peacock, who captained England before the injury, has set his sights on regaining his place in the national squad ahead of the match against Exiles on his home ground at Headingley on 10 June.

"I definitely want to be involved in that game and it is up to me to prove my fitness to Steve McNamara," he said.

But, after the slow start Leeds have made to the Super League season, losing five of their opening 10 matches, Peacock is just as concerned with moving the Rhinos up this season's topsy turvy table.

After two wins over the Easter programme, Leeds now sit just four points behind league leaders St Helens.

And Peacock admits: "My focus is on trying to help the team and doing what I can to help us move up the table.

"It has been frustrating this season because the team have had it tough but we had two great wins over Easter and hopefully we can build on that on Friday night."

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