Ellis rules himself out of World Cup

Gareth Ellis has ruled himself out of the World Cup by announcing his retirement from international rugby league with immediate effect.

Ellis, 32, made the decision after talking with England coach Steve McNamara and officials at Hull FC, who he captained to the Challenge Cup final this season.

He said: “It’s no secret that I’m heading towards the latter part of my career and after picking up untimely knocks over the last couple of years, I feel it is time for me to focus on my club.

“It will allow me more time to rest up and recover before taking part in a full pre-season, something I haven’t done since 2002, and hit the ground running in 2014.

“It’s been something I’ve been thinking about for a long time and it’s been a very tough call to make as I was always very proud to represent England and it will be extremely disappointing to miss the World Cup.

“I feel this could be the strongest England team for some years, but after 12 years I’ve had my opportunities on the international scene and I want to focus on a big year for Hull FC.”

Former Wakefield and Leeds man Ellis spent four successful years in the NRL with Wests Tigers, before moving to Hull ahead of the 2013 season.

He missed the start of the campaign after picking up an injury in the warm-up to the first game of the season against the Rhinos.

England coach Steve McNamara said: “Gareth has made a massive contribution to England, both on and off the field, where his attitude was never anything other than totally professional.

“The standards of his performances with Wests Tigers demonstrated that England players are among the best in the world and though he has had a difficult season with injury I have no doubts that he has lots to offer Hull FC in the years to come.

“We fully understand the reasons behind his decision and wish him all the very best for the future.”

The decision rules Ellis out of England‘s World Cup campaign which starts with a game against Australia at the Millennium Stadium in Cardiff on Saturday October 26.

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