After 16 years at Leeds Rhinos prop Ryan Bailey will leave the club to join First Utility Super League rivals Hull KR.
Commenting on the move, the former Great Britain international said, “I would like to thank Leeds for a great career so far. I would like to thank the fans for the support they have given me throughout my career and I will never forget all the good times. I am moving on to a new chapter in my life and I am looking forward to testing myself at a new club.
“I have loads of great memories and it would be too difficult to single out one game or moment that was better than any other. It has been a privilege to play alongside some of the legends of our game and to have achieved everything there is possible to win is something very special. I have played in 18 Finals, which is a great honour and I would like to thank all my coaches who have selected me for those biggest of games. Some great players go their whole career and never play in one Final so I appreciate how fantastic my time at the Rhinos has been.
“My first game for Hull KR will be at home against Leeds, which I presume will be a little weird beforehand but once that whistle goes and the game starts, I’ll be fully focused on the job in hand,” added Bailey.
The former Milford amateur joined the Rhinos on the week of the inaugural Super League Grand Final in 1998 and made his first team debut in 2002 against Wakefield. He has gone on to become one of only 30 players in the history of the club to make over 300 appearances for the club and finishes with 313 appearances in total including 192 in the starting line up.
Commenting on the decision to let Bailey move to Hull KR, Chief Executive Gary Hetherington added, “Ryan leaves the Rhinos with everyone’s best wishes. When the approach came from Hull KR for a two year deal, because of Ryan’s outstanding service for the club we were happy for him to speak to them. To have played in 18 Finals is testimony to his contribution to the club and the fact that successive coaches have selected him for those games speaks volumes.
“I am sure our fans will be disappointed to see him leave but unfortunately in professional sport all good things come to an end at some stage. I hope Ryan continues for many years to come, as Ali Lauitiiti has done, after leaving the Rhinos and enjoys a successful finale to his career. He will also hold a special place in the record books at Leeds and will always be part of the Rhinos family.”