Buderus gets Old Trafford farewell

Leeds Rhinos have announced that former Australian captain Danny Buderus will leave the club at the end of the current season after the club agreed a compensation package with NRL side Newcastle Knights.

Buderus, 33, joined the Rhinos at the start of the 2009 season and has gone on to make 82 appearances for the club including the Grand Final semi-final tonight against Warrington Wolves. His final game for the club will be the Grand Final at Old Trafford next Saturday. He had one year remaining on his contract at Headingley Carnegie however the Rhinos have agreed to release Buderus to enable to make a fairytale return to his only other club, the Newcastle Knights, and to play his final season in the NRL.

Buderus, who led New South Wales for a record number of times earlier in his career, will team up with legendary coach Wayne Bennett at the Knights next season as he looks to finish his career on a high at the club he served between 1997 and 2008, winning a Premiership in 2001.

Commenting on the announcement Leeds Rhinos Chief Executive Gary Hetherington said, “Danny has been an exemplary professional during his time at the club. Despite speculation over recent weeks about his future, his conduct has been outstanding. Our young players have benefitted from playing and training alongside one of the true greats of the game and we wish him well for the future.”

Buderus, who played in both the 2010 and 2011 Challenge Cup Finals at Wembley during his time at Leeds added, “I would like to thank Paul Caddick and Gary Hetherington for allowing me the opportunity to return to the Knights. I have thoroughly enjoyed my time at the Rhinos and I have made lifelong friends here. My family and I have enjoyed our time in Leeds and take home with us many happy memories. I am grateful that things have been able to be worked out between Leeds and Newcastle. I was not interested in playing for any other club other than the Knights and Leeds Rhinos and Newcastle will both hold a special place in my affection.”

Leeds Rhinos Head Coach Brian McDermott added, “Danny has been a pleasure to coach this season and he goes with our best wishes. He is one of the greats of the modern game and has given so much to our sport. It is not often that dream finishes can happen in a career so I am pleased for Danny that he will get his chance to finish his career with the Knights.”