Leeds winger Donald to retire

Leeds Rhinos winger Scott Donald has announced he will retire at the end of the 2010 season to enable him to return home to Australia to pursue a career outside of rugby in his native Queensland.

Donald joined the Rhinos in 2006 and has gone on to score 90 tries in 142 starts for the club, including one in the win at Castleford last Friday.

The former Parramatta and North Queensland winger originally signed a one year extension to cover next season earlier this year but the opportunity for a career after rugby has been decisive in the 30-year-old’s decision to return home to Australia.

He commented: “The discussions have only come about in the last few weeks. A work opportunity has become available for me back home in Australia, which is outside of rugby. It is something that I have had to think long and hard about but I also have to consider my young family. My son is just about to start school and they have had to sacrifice a lot to help me with my rugby career here at the Rhinos and it is time that I looked at other options back home.

“At the time, I signed my new contract, I was fully committed to the club but things have moved quickly in the last few weeks and I need to make sure that I take the options that are available to me at present because you never know whether they will be there in the future,” added Donald.

Donald joined the Rhinos from Manly Sea Eagles back in 2006 and has been one of the Champions most consistent performers in recent years, setting a record in 2008 after 92 consecutive appearances in the starting line up. He was included in the Super League Dream Team on two occasions in 2007 and 2008 and memorably scored crucial tries in the 2007 Grand Final win over St Helens and the 2008 World Club Challenge victory over Melbourne Storm at Elland Road.

Head coach Brian McClennan said: “Scott has been an outstanding servant for Leeds Rhinos throughout his time at the club, looking after himself as an excellent professional which is demonstrated by his incredible record of fitness over the past four years.”

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