Featherstone forward and former Leeds Rhinos great Brett Delaney has announced his retirement at the age of 33.
Delaney, who won four Super League titles while at Leeds Rhinos, suffered a facial injury while representing his former club in July 2018 – which reoccured when Featherstone hosted Halifax in January.
“I’m hugely thankful to Featherstone for giving me the opportunity to continue in my career,” he said. “Unfortunately it’s not worked out and it looks like I will have to have another operation, but I’ve still really enjoyed the short time I’ve had here.
“I’ve had a great career, where I’ve done everything and don’t have any regrets. I’d like to give a special thanks to all my coaches and the supporters at Leeds and Featherstone.
“Rugby league really has a special community and now I’m looking forward to continuing my work with the Foundation at Leeds. I’m looking at continuing with my coaching badges too and working with young players, probably on defence.”
He added: “I spoke to the boys at training last night. They’re a good squad with a good coach in Ryan and I expect them to do well and compete right at the top this season.”
The former World Club Challenge winner joined Featherstone in October 2018, having previously made an appearance for the club on dual-registration in 2017. Featherstone CEO Davide Longo said: “Brett has been an exceptional rugby league player during a golden era at Leeds Rhinos.
“We are disappointed that Featherstone Rovers and the fans didn’t get the opportunity to see Brett perform in the Championship this season, but absolutely understand that Brett’s health and family is paramount in these situations and must come first.
“Brett’s decision wasn’t easy to make and shows the level of integrity, professionalism and respect for the game that he has demonstrated throughout his career.
“We wish him all the best and thank him for his short time here at Featherstone Rovers.”