Former England centre Kyle Eastmond has reflected that he “accomplished all that I set out to achieve in rugby union” after his return to rugby league was announced last week. The 31-year-old joined Leeds Rhinos to put an end to eight months of being without a club following his exit from Leicester Tigers last July over a contract dispute which also saw a band of other stars depart.
The six-cap Englishman has now taken to Instagram to reflect on his tenure in union which lasted almost a decade. “I left all that I knew at 21,” he wrote.
“I encountered unique obstacles along the way. Respect to the few people that journeyed with me through the madness on and off the field. I’ve accomplished all that I set out to achieve in rugby union. Thank you to all my teammates… the staff and fans.”
After bursting onto the scene as a teenager for St Helens in league, Eastmond made the code switch in 2011 when joining Bath. He would later switch to Wasps in 2016 and then Leicester in 2018, but his international representation came while at The Rec.
Eastmond earned all six of his England caps while he was a Bath player, two against Argentina in 2013, three against the All Blacks during a tour of New Zealand in 2014 and then a final cap that autumn against South Africa.
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Not only did he achieve success on an individual level with the West Country outfit, but the club also reached the Premiership final in 2015 where he combined with George Ford in the midfield in the loss against Saracens.
With the way events have transpired over the past year with rugby’s pandemic suspension and then Eastmond’s exit from Leicester in the summer, his last game in union was ironically another loss to Saracens on March 7, 2020.
— RugbyPass (@RugbyPass) March 9, 2021
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