Rhinos seal Lunt loan deal
Leeds have secured the services of Huddersfield forward Shaun Lunt on loan for the rest of the season.
Lunt, who played for England in 2010, has been unable to gain a regular first-team spot at the Galpharm Stadium this season and slipped further down the pecking order following the Giants' re-signing of former St Helens hooker Scott Moore from Widnes.
Huddersfield needed to make room on their salary cap to sign Lunt, who has three and a half years left on his contract with them.
"I turned 25 this week and I know I am at a stage in my career when I need to be playing regular first team rugby," said Lunt, who has made just six substitute appearances so far this year for Nathan Brown's team.
"I was surprised when Nathan Brown told me last week that Leeds had been in touch about coming here on loan.
"Normally when you go on loan it is not to another one of the top teams in the competition so I am really pleased to be joining the world champions."
Leeds have two specialist, if inexperienced, hookers in Paul McShane and Liam Hood and have been using scrum-half Rob Burrow in the role for the last six months but coach Brian McDermott sees Lunt as a utility forward.
"Shaun is a player we have monitored for a while and he will give us strength in depth in a number of positions in the forwards as we enter a tough period of the season," McDermott said.
"He has been a quality player for Huddersfield over a number of years, appearing in the Challenge Cup final and representing England, and I know he is excited about the challenge of coming to Leeds and showing what he can do at the highest level."
Lunt added: "My preferred position is hooker but I am happy playing in the back row as well, whatever the coaching staff want of me.
"I trained with the Rhinos yesterday and the players really made me feel welcome. I need to get my head down now and work hard to make the most of this opportunity."
Meanwhile, Leeds say Hood will be allowed to join Championship side Dewsbury on dual registration for the next six weeks to allow him to get first-team experience.
McDermott added: "Liam is a very talented player and certainly a player with a big future at the club.
"From his performances in the first team and Under-20s this season, it is clear that he is too good for the Under-20s and the important thing for his development is that he is playing first-team rugby against men.
"He will be dual registered, therefore, if we cannot offer him first team rugby on a week-to-week basis, he will join up with Dewsbury."