Leigh’s Dayne Weston will retire from playing at the end of the current season to return home to Australia.
Weston, who was contracted until the end of the 2019 season, has made the decision due to family reasons following discussions with Centurions’ owner Derek Beaumont and head coach Neil Jukes.
“I always said my last game would be for Leigh Centurions and at the end of this year that will be me done – I’m determined to leave on a high with the club having cemented its place in Super League,” he told the club’s official website.
“It’s time to put the family first. My wife, Jess, was always going to go home with the kids at the end of this year as our youngest is starting school and there’s no way I can stay over here for another two years without them.
“Physically I could play for another five years but mentally I won’t be there without them, so we are going back together and I’m looking forward to transitioning into the next chapter of our lives.
“We’re going to live on the Gold Coast and I’d like to stay involved in the game on the coaching or conditioning side of things.
“Over my career I’ve learned a lot from the different coaches I’ve played under, how to get the best out of people and improve them as players and individuals and I feel I have a lot to offer.
“Derek and Jukesy were brilliant with me when I told them of my decision and I can’t thank them enough for what they’ve done to help me since I’ve arrived. Leigh Centurions really is a great family club.”
Jukes added: “First and foremost I’d like to thank Dayne for his efforts for the club.
“Last year, my first as head coach, he played an instrumental role in our success and made a big impact on and off the field. This was recognised by him deservedly cleaning up at the awards evening.
“Dayne’s decision to retire has not been taken easily but to have the burden of carrying on playing and not seeing your family is far too much to bear. I respect him for making his decision for those reasons and know that it was a no-brainer for him.
“There is no way our club would stand in his way as our values are ‘family first’ and we always adhere to that.
“As I stated, Dayne has made a big impact in where we are as a club and before he goes home there is a lot of work to be done to ensure we maintain our Super League status.
“I know Dayne will play his full part in that and want to go out on a high and I shall look forward to working with him for the rest of the season.
“On behalf of all the staff and players I wish Dayne and his family all the best for the future and I know we will keep in touch and that Leigh Centurions will have a big place in their hearts.