Gareth Ellis calls time on stellar 21-year career

Hull’s former England international Gareth Ellis has confirmed his retirement and this time says it is for good.

The former Wakefield, Leeds and Wests Tigers forward hung up his boots at the end of the 2017 season but answered an injury crisis 18 months later and played his 100th game for the Black and Whites in February 2019.

He went on to play into 2020, making another eight appearances before injury struck, and, at the age of 39, has announced he is finally bringing his 21-year career to a close.

Ellis, who finished on 477 career appearances including 33 for England and Great Britain, said: “Now the dust has settled on our season, it seems the right time to officially confirm my second retirement.

“Whereas the decision to retire at the end of the 2017 season was very difficult and one I wrestled with for some time, as you can imagine this time around it was much more straightforward and something I have alluded to throughout this year’s campaign.”

Ellis, whose career began at Wakefield in 1999, will take up a role on the club’s backroom staff next season.

“The plan is now to pick up from where I left off in 2018 and take up a coaching role at the club which is something I’m really looking forward to,” added Ellis, who in 2016 became the first Hull captain to lift the Challenge Cup at Wembley.

Hull chief executive James Clark said: “I’m sure I speak on behalf of everyone associated with our sport in thanking Gareth for his fantastic contribution to the game of rugby league, on and off the field, over such a long and influential period.

“Gareth has been the consummate professional throughout many years playing at the highest level for both club and country and has always carried himself with the utmost modesty, respect and credibility, which is a real sign of the man.”

Ellis becomes the third distinguished England international to bow out this year. Sean O’Loughlin (Wigan) and James Graham (St Helens) will also bring their glittering careers to a close after Friday’s Grand Final.

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