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Leeds Rhinos

2017 Super League Champions

Delaney set for Festive farewell with Rhinos

4th October 2018 | 12:03 pm

By Phil Daly

One of Leeds Rhinos longest ever serving overseas players, Brett Delaney, will make his final appearance for the club on Boxing Day when the Rhinos welcome Wakefield Trinity to Emerald Headingley Stadium.

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One of Leeds Rhinos longest ever serving overseas players, Brett Delaney, will make his final appearance for the club on Boxing Day when the Rhinos welcome Wakefield Trinity to Emerald Headingley Stadium.

Delaney, who has spent nine years at the Rhinos, will take the next step in his career in 2019 with a new exciting opportunity with the Leeds Rhinos Foundation whilst continuing his rugby career as a part time player at a new club.

The 32-year-old is seventh in the all-time list of overseas players to have appeared for Leeds with 213 appearances since arriving at Emerald Headingley from Gold Coast Titans in 2010, scoring 27 tries and appearing in 13 Finals in nine seasons at the club. He won three Grand Finals in 2011, 2012 and 2015, the Challenge Cup in 2014 and 2015, the World Club Challenge in 2012 and the League Leaders Shield in 2015.

As well as his quality on the field, Delaney has volunteered his time off the field to work with Leeds Rhinos Foundation, particularly working with the Onside project. Onside is a nine-week programme run by Leeds Rhinos Foundation in HMP Leeds and HMP Wealstun. The aim of the project is to reduce the rates of re-offending and combines classroom based work and physical activity sessions aimed at helping the offenders find work upon their release.

Onside uses sport and the engaging values of sport to cover a range of areas including barriers and stereotyping, relationships, behaviour and consequences, aspirations and goal setting responsibility, motivation, teamwork, respect and discipline. These values are linked to real life skills such as healthy living, employability and being a champion citizen.

Commenting on the decision, Delaney said, “When I left Australia, I was a 24-year-old kid and I could never of imagined that I would be privileged enough to play nine amazing seasons with a great club like Leeds. I would like to thank Gary Hetherington and Paul Caddick for believing in me and giving me a chance to play for the Rhinos. I owe a debt of thanks to Brian McDermott for everything he did for me career and likewise the great players I played alongside like Kevin Sinfield, Jamie Peacock, Kylie Leuluai, Rob Burrow, Danny McGuire and of course my old mate Ryan Bailey! I have ran my blood to water week in and week out for the Rhinos and I wouldn’t change a thing. I understand the club need to move forward especially as an overseas player and hopefully this will allow them to do that and bring in fresh blood as well as giving the great young kids at this club the chance to succeed and write their own names in the club’s history. I am sure they will.

“I am looking forward to working with Leeds Rhinos Foundation. I have enjoyed being able to give something back. I can relate to the programme having grown up in a tough environment, I have been able to show that you can choose a different pathway. Even if you get into trouble, that doesn’t mean your life is set on that course and you can still make something of your life.

“Finally, I would like to thank the Rhinos fans for the incredible the support they have given me over the years. The way I have been made to feel welcome in their city has been life changing for me. I am pleased that I will get to say goodbye on the field on Boxing Day and pull on the Rhinos shirt one last time, it will special and I looking forward to being back out there,” added Delaney.

Bob Bowman, Leeds Rhinos Foundation’s Chief Operating Officer, commented, “We are delighted to welcome Brett on board with Leeds Rhinos Foundation. He has always supported the work of the Foundation throughout his time at the club. He has impressed us with his ability to work with some of the most vulnerable and challenging members of our community and successful influence those people to make positive lifestyle choices.”

Leeds Rhinos Director of Rugby Kevin Sinfield added, “As a team mate, Brett Delaney was a guy you always wanted beside you in the toughest of circumstances. His commitment and will to win was an inspiration to those around him. He was a regular NRL player when he arrived in 2010 and the fact he has spent his entire career with us shows his loyalty to the Rhinos cause down the years. It is great that he will remained involved with Leeds Rhinos Foundation and he will always remain a Rhino.”