Leeds Rhinos have confirmed that winger Ryan Hall will leave the Super League club when the current season comes to a close.
Hall will be out of contract with the Rhinos at the end of the year and, despite being offered a new deal, has decided to move on after the 2018 campaign.
The confirmation of his departure comes after stories in the Australian media yesterday strongly linked him with a move to the NRL, and it was thought that he would be joining Sydney Roosters to replace Blake Ferguson, however, new reports suggest that England coach Wayne Bennett would be interested in signing the 30-year-old for Brisbane Broncos.
The statement from the Rhinos gives no indication of which team Hall will be moving to for the 2019 season and beyond.
Hall made his debut for Leeds in 2007, and has since gone on to become a star of world rugby league. In 327 appearances for the Rhinos he has scored 232 tries, as well as winning six Grand Finals, two Challenge Cups, two League Leaders’ Shields and a World Club Challenge.
He is also his country’s all time top-scorer, having scored 37 tries in just 39 outings for England, and was a part of the side that made it to the World Cup Final in 2017.
Commenting on his decision to leave his boyhood club, Hall told the official club website: “I have had twelve amazing seasons as a Leeds Rhinos player and I am immensely proud of what we have achieved together. For me personally, I feel that this is the right time for a new challenge after such a long period at the club and my decision in no way reflects on the Rhinos.
“Words cannot really do justice to how much representing my home town club and enjoying so much success has meant to me. My focus now is on the remainder of this season and putting the Rhinos in the best possible position for next season and beyond. I have had the privilege of working with brilliant coaches and players in my time at the club and I have total faith that under Kevin Sinfield and James Lowes the club will continue to go in the right direction for the future.”
Leeds’ Director of Rugby Kevin Sinfield said: “Naturally we are disappointed to lose a player of the quality of Ryan Hall. The club were keen to keep him here and we made him an offer that reflected his standing in the game. I know that Ryan will be doing everything between now and the end of the season to make sure his time at the club ends on the best possible note. He will remain a close friend of the Rhinos; as a Leeds lad, playing for his club and winning with the Rhinos means so much to him and I am sure we will remain in regular contact with him.
“The departure of any senior player is a chance for someone else to come into our group, just as it was Ryan when he first broke through over a decade ago, and we will be looking to strengthen the whole group for 2019 and beyond with this opportunity.”