Watkins set to leave Rhinos at end of 2019 season

Leeds Rhinos have confirmed that captain Kallum Watkins will leave the club at the end of the 2019 Betfred Super League season after both agreed to mutually end his contract with the club.

Watkins has spent his entire career at the Rhinos having made his debut as a 17-year-old and is in eleventh season at the club. The England international had two years remaining on the four-year contract he signed in 2018 but, through discussions with Chief Executive Gary Hetherington, he has agreed to come out of the contract this year.

Commenting on the announcement Director of Rugby Kevin Sinfield said, “First and foremost, I would like to thank Kallum for his outstanding service to the club and, in particular, his complete professionalism throughout this process. Kallum is aware of our plans for the squad moving forward and the restrictions that the salary cap has on our ability to develop this group of players.

“Kallum is one of the greatest talents this club has produced, and I know he will be giving his absolute all for the remainder of the season to make sure he finishes his time here on the best possible note,” added Sinfield.

Kallum Watkins commented, “This was an incredibly tough decision for me to arrive at especially as I was happy to remain at the club for the remainder of my contract. However, this is an agreement that suits myself and the club. I am 28 and looking forward to a new challenge whether in Super League or abroad and I wish the club all the best for the years ahead.”

Watkins has made 256 appearances for the Rhinos since his debut in 2008 and scored 101 tries. He has 25 caps for England so far, his last coming in the World Cup Final in 2017.