Paul Sykes signed for his home-town club ahead of the 2016 season after having enjoyed a distinguished career at Super League and international level.
Sykes joined the Rams following a season with Featherstone and has since played a central role as a leader and creative force in the middle of the park.
Now in his fifth season at The Tetley’s Stadium, we spoke with Paul to learn a little more about his life on and off the field.
What’s your first memory of rugby?
“My uncle introduced me to rugby when I was five-years-old and got me learning all about the game.”
What do you remember about your professional debut?
“My pro debut was for Bradford against Wakefield in 1999, many moons ago! I played on the wing as a skinny, nervous 17-year-old.”
Have you always wanted to become a Rugby League player?
“Yes, definitely, and to have achieved that is massive. Everywhere I went as a young lad I had a rugby ball in my hands – literally everywhere!”
What’s your favourite memory so far?
“I’m lucky enough to have made a lot of memories in the game. Playing in Finals has been great, making my debut was also a big highlight, but playing for my country has got to be at the top.”
Do you have an interest in any other sports?
“I like golf and I used to play a fair bit when I was living in London, but I don’t have time these days. I also love my football and follow Huddersfield Town.”
What hobbies do you have outside of sport?
“I’d say it’s just chilling at home that I enjoy the most. I’m really busy with work and training, so there isn’t much time for anything else these days.”
What kind of music do you like to listen to?
“Various genres – I like a bit of everything – although I did like Courteeners for years.”
What’s your favourite food?
“A nice piece of fillet steak, medium rare.”
…and your least favourite?
What’s your favourite place to travel?
“Cyprus is a lovely warm place all year round – plus they drive on the same side of the road as us!”
Which Rams team-mate would you be happiest stuck on a desert island island with?
“That’d probably be Willy [Will Oakes]. He makes me laugh every day at training.”
…and which one item would you take with you?