Leeds Rhinos captain Kevin Sinfield will leave the club at the end of the season for rugby union side Yorkshire Carnegie.
The Rhinos stalwart has signed an 18-month deal to play for Leeds-based Carnegie.
The 34 year-old said; “This was one of the toughest decisions of my career but I know the time is right for me to finish my time in rugby league and embark on a new challenge with Yorkshire Carnegie.”
Former England captain Sinfield made his Rhinos debut in 1997 aged 16 and was named as the club’s skipper in 2002. Since then he has led his side to six Super League titles, three World Club Challenge triumphs and last year lifted the Challenge Cup Trophy for the first time.
The Oldham-born star also won the Lance Todd Trophy in 2005, was named as the 2009 RLIF Lock Forward of the Year and won the 2012 Golden Boot Award. Off the field, he was honoured with an MBE last year for services to rugby league.
“I never wanted to play against the Rhinos,” Sinfield said. “Throughout my career I have always had an admiration for rugby union and wanted to challenge myself in that code.”
Sinfield will be 35 years-old when he joins up with Carnegie, who play in the Championship.
Sir Ian McGeechan, Carnegie’s executive president, told the BBC: “I have admired Kevin Sinfield as both a player and an individual for many years. His professionalism, attitude and commitment are top class.
“I am sure he will be a great addition to our squad for next season and his goal-kicking record speaks for itself.
Sinfield is currently on 3,997 career points and will join Neil Fox, Jim Sullivan and Gus Risman in surpassing the 4,000 career point mark. He is The Rhinos’ all time leading point scorer and goal kicker.