FORMER Bradford Bulls star Robbie Hunter-Paul loved his brief cameo in Sunday's charity friendly with Leeds Rhinos, even if it did leave him exhausted.

He waxed lyrical about returning to Headingley, despite copping his fair share of stick from the terraces, but admitted he stayed well away from any rough stuff.

He laughed: "It was enjoyable, the 10 or 11 minutes out on that field. But I've got to admit I was quite happy when that hooter went. I just hit a wall.

"They say about getting a second wind but it felt like my 18th wind at that time.

"I was staying well away from the big boys. I'm very good, I'll stay out on the edge and let the donkeys in the middle do what donkeys do. For some reason they just love bashing each other.

"Some of those collisions, I was like 'jeez, I'm so happy I'm a half-back'.

"One of the first passes I made nearly went in the South Stand and they (the Leeds fans) started up the Robbie Paul song, which I can't share as it has a few swear words in it.

"It was great to get out there. Headingley's always been one of my favourite places to play rugby league and it was for the right reasons.

"We were celebrating JJB's (Jamie Jones-Buchanan's) 20 incredible years and obviously also in support of Rob (Burrow), in probably the hardest game he's ever going to play in his life."

Hunter-Paul said the occasion - which became a tribute to Burrow following his diagnosis with motor neurone disease - was one to cherish, as he explained what makes rugby league so unique.

He said: "The whole rugby league community came together. The old rivalry was there, but it wasn't with malice, it was with love. It's something special that only sport can bring to the party.

"Rugby league is a very honest sport and the team that you play in keeps you honest and humble. Rugby league players are working class people and it's a working class sport.

"You're kept grounded by the communities you come from. We don't have any superstars or A-list celebrities in rugby league. Generally no-one gets carried away with themselves and if you do, it normally gets sorted out on the field."

Hunter-Paul was one of host of former legends who took to the field in the final stages.

Jamie Peacock was among them, with the former Bulls and Leeds skipper shedding blood after a clash of heads with Rob Parker.

Hunter-Paul said: "Just because JP saw 'claret', that didn't mean he was above his station, he just got unlucky rubbing heads with Rob Parker's bald head.

"We were all laughing, because JP's hair has gone from grey to shocking white now, so to have that claret running through it was just funny."