Championship star Mark Kheirallah announces retirement: ‘It has been an epic ride’

Drew Darbyshire
Mark Kheirallah Toulouse Olympique Alamy

Featherstone Rovers star full-back Mark Kheirallah has announced his retirement from rugby league.

The 33-year-old has spent more than a decade in the Championship, having spent 11 seasons with Toulouse and two with Featherstone.

Australia-born Kheirallah made his debut for Sydney Roosters in 2011 – his only appearance in the NRL – before heading over to France in 2012.

He scored 98 tries in 129 appearances for Toulouse. He made his international debut for France at the 2017 World Cup, qualifying for the nation through residency rules.

Kheirallah, who is of Indigenous Australian and Egyptian heritage, joined Featherstone in 2022, scoring 17 tries in 24 games for Rovers.

In a video message on his Instagram, Kheirallah announced his retirement following Featherstone’s Championship play-off semi-final defeat to London Bronncos.

“2023 has come to an end in terms of rugby league and unfortunately that game on the weekend was my final game,” Kheirallah said.

“I’m going to be retiring after this year, I really wanted to make an attempt at Super League but unfortunately the rugby league gods didn’t see fit to grant me that opportunity so I won’t be continuing to play in the Championship anymore.

“I just wanted to have this video to say thank you to all the supporters who have been with me all these years and all the teams who I have been apart of, without your support and generosity and kind words it would be difficult to run out each and every day. You give us inspiration and motivation  to do our best and perform so I thank you for that.

“To all the boys who I played with in every team, thank you so much for all the wonderful memories, thank you for being with me through the ups and downs, more ups than downs thankfully, but a wise man once told me that rugby league gives you one great thing and that’s mates for life and I definitely know I’ll be in touch with you all over the next few years. This isn’t the end, it’s only the beginning.”

He added: “Thank you to everyone that has been part of my rugby league journey! It has been an epic ride and I’m so grateful for the experiences and lessons it has given me.

“I’m excited to see what the future holds.”

READ NEXT: Broadcast details confirmed for Championship play-off final as two expansion clubs vie for Super League return