Aiton turns down Leeds deal

Leeds Rhinos and Papua New Guinean hooker Paul Aiton has informed the Rhinos of his intention to leave at the end of the season to take up an offer with another Super League club.

Aiton, 30, signed from Wakefield Trinity in 2013 on a 3-year contract with an option for both player and club to terminate the final year and Aiton has enforced the option.

Gary Hetherington said, “It is not come as a surprise because Paul rejected a new 3-year contract from us and told us of interest from other clubs some time ago, but it is always disappointing when a player of Paul’s standing decides to leave the club. He is a full overseas quote player, so that provides us with some flexibility for 2016 and the search for another good player is on and will take as long as it needs to.”

Brian McDermott said, “Paul has shown good form this season and I, and the club wanted him to stay, but I respect his decision and I have no doubt he will continue to perform to his best until the end of the season.”

Aiton, who has featured in every game so far this season for the Rhinos, added, “I have been speaking with the club for a number of months now and unfortunately we have been unable to reach an agreement for next year and beyond. I remain totally committed to the Rhinos cause for the remainder of the season and want to finish my time at the club on the best possible note. Unfortunately as a professional rugby player you have to make tough decision like this for yourself and your family as our earning potential is only over a short period of time compared to everyone else. I will leave the Rhinos at the end of the season with great mates for life and hopefully even more fantastic memories.”