Huddersfield prop forward Stuart Fielden has announced his retirement from the game, as a persistent knee infection prevents him from continuing his playing career.
Fielden, 33, will remain with the Giants as part of Paul Anderson’s coaching team for this and next season.
The former Great Britain international told www.giantsrl.com of his sadness at the decision:
“The club have been superb with me and this freak infection is just typical of the luck of I have had for a while now. We have explored every avenue possible and I have trained constantly to get back on the field, but it’s not going to be.
“I am grateful of the opportunity Paul (Anderson) has given me, and having got over the shock of the knee ruling me out I’m now excited about the next chapter in my career.
“I am making this announcement now to put all speculation to bed and want us all to concentrate on the next few games for the club which are simply massive. I hope to be playing a big part behind the scenes and whatever happens it won’t be for lack of effort on my part.
“I really have enjoyed being here – more so than I expected if truth be told, and it really is a club that has great potential, so I guess I am lucky really that I can stay on and start learning and working under Paul and his team.
“In my career I feel fortunate to have played with and against the best players in the world, and represented my country 32 times, to add to that I’ve also always been at a top club. I would also like to specially thank Micheal Maguire and Mick Farrell for helping me get my career back on track during my time at Wigan.”
Huddersfield head coach Paul Anderson paid tribute to Fielden:
“I have had the pleasure in playing with, against and coaching Stuart, and throughout his career he has been the ultimate professional. The news is disappointing for all concerned but it’s a credit to Stuart’s professionalism the way he has accepted the decision and he’s now fully focused on his new coaching role.
“He is a great addition to the Giants coaching team as he is a Super League legend with such a decorated medal cabinet, and his experience will be invaluable going forward.”