The NRL have prevented soon-to-be Gold Coast Titans player Kallum Watkins from playing his last game for Leeds.
The Rhinos were informed that Watkins needed to be registered as a Gold Coast player by midnight on June 30.
And with them kicking off at 3pm on Sunday again Catalans – which is midnight in Sydney – the NRL have refused dispensation to allow Watkins to play his final game for Leeds and receive a fitting send off.
Watkins has now travelled over to Australia to join his family, and Trent Merrin has been appointed as Leeds’ new skipper.
Rhinos interim coach Richard Agar commented: “It is disappointing for Kallum that he does not get to say goodbye at Emerald Headingley after his outstanding service for the club.
“The circumstances are beyond our control unfortunately. He has said his goodbyes to the players and coaches and leaves with our very best wishes.
“Trent was a natural choice as captain. He has had a big influence on our squad in my time as coach and sets high standards for himself.
“In recent weeks, as we have looked to rebuild our game, he has been a key part of that. Games against Catalans are always tough, especially in the position we find ourselves in, however Trent is one of those guys you would want beside you in the trenches and I know he will lead by example.”