When it comes to football, Danny McGuire has little time for the side synonymous with Old Trafford. But as a rugby league player, he wants his Leeds side to be just like Manchester United.
Super League's all-time leading try scorer is a lifelong Leeds United supporter and has been brought up to dislike the Red Devils. But in his day job as the Rhinos' stand-off, McGuire is a rugby league version of a United player. With five Super League titles in eight years, Leeds have dominated their sport in a similar way to Sir Alex Ferguson's side.
A win in Saturday's Grand Final over Warrington would further strengthen Leeds' case to be considered one of the finest teams of all-time, and McGuire can see why that might irk some of their rivals. "I wouldn't speak for them, but when you're a successful team you've got people that want to be where you are and take a shot at you," he said.
"When you're the champions like we are, everybody wants to knock you off your perch. They're desperate for it. That makes the challenge even tougher for us because teams raise their game by 20 per cent against us.
"I would use Manchester United as a great example. Being a Leeds fan I see they're successful and I just don't like them. But they're a good team who do some great things and because I support Leeds, I'm jealous. I want it to be my team up there."
McGuire will take his place in Leeds' side on Saturday having missed last weekend's semi-final over Wigan because of a highly contentious suspension.
He received a one-match ban for a careless tackle in the previous week's victory over Catalan, with the fallout from the incident hogging the headlines last week.
Both Wigan coach Shaun Wane and Man of Steel Sam Tomkins made comments about what sort of punishment he would receive, leaving Leeds feeling that foul play had occurred.
McGuire claims he would not indulge in such behaviour himself, but he is just happy to be out of the spotlight and back in contention for selection.
"I would never comment on other people's things but stuff happens, you say things you don't mean for a bit of controversy, but that happened and probably didn't help the case, but I think I got a really fair hearing," he said.
- Danny McGuire
- Manchester United