Ava Seumanufagai leaves Leeds

Leeds prop Ava Seumanufagai has been granted a release to return home to Australia for family reasons because of the pandemic.

The 29-year-old joined the Rhinos in 2019 from NRL side Cronulla Sharks and made 32 appearances for the club – including winning the Challenge Cup this season.

Rhinos director of rugby Kevin Sinfield said: “Ava spoke to myself and Richard Agar about the possibility of a release from the remaining year of his contract to return home for family reasons. We are sorry to see him leave the club but fully support and understand his decision.

“The Covid-19 pandemic has had many profound impacts on our sport and I am certain in normal times, Ava would be happy to remain at the Rhinos for many years to come. We have remained in contact with Ava since he returned home so we were both aware of the latest situation with the pandemic.

“He was aware of how highly we still think of him but we understood the position he was in. He has now decided to stay in Australia and he leaves with our best wishes. He remains a friend of the club.”

Seumanufagai said: “I loved being a part of such a great club. Sadly, I’ve made the decision to cut my time short so I can be home with my young daughter. With Covid-19 restrictions continuing into next year, the option to travel back and forth looks almost impossible.”

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