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“I’d like to thank Leeds Rhinos” – Luke Gale releases farewell statement after surprise Leeds exit

Yesterday will be remembered as one of the most shocking days in rugby league history as one surprise transfer story led to another.

Marc Sneyd was released by Hull FC having won two Challenge Cups with the Black and Whites to return to former club Salford on a three-year deal. His departure paved the way for Luke Gale’s release from Leeds Rhinos so that he could move to the MKM stadium as Sneyd’s replacement.

Gale returned to Leeds at the end of 2019 having come through their academy. He arrived as a former Man of Steel and was trusted to usher in a new era at Headingley after a few years in the wilderness once the golden generation had firmly drawn to a close with an eighth Grand Final success in 2017 ironically against Gale’s Castleford Tigers.

Shortly after his arrival he took on the captain’s armband when injury issues forced Stevie Ward onto the side lines for an indefinite period ultimately leading to his retirement. No doubt that was a special moment for him as a Rhinos fan growing up and it got even better when he lifted the Challenge Cup in October having nailed a vital drop goal at Wembley.

Things weren’t as rosy in 2021 as he struggled with injury before a falling out with Head Coach Richard Agar saw him stripped of the captaincy and now his time at Leeds has been brought to an abrupt end following his release from the final year of his contract to the surprise of many.

After fulfilling a childhood ambition with Leeds over the last two seasons, he now takes on a new challenge at Hull which no doubt prompted a wide range of emotions. So, unsurprisingly, he took to social media to address the situation.

He stated: “After a crazy few days and the dust has settled, I’d like to thank Leeds Rhinos for giving me the opportunity to come back to the club first and foremost. Leading the boys out at Wembley and lifting the Challenge Cup in 2020 are memories that will last me a lifetime. I’d like to wish them all the best moving forward. I’m massively excited for the next chapter with Hull FC which is a massive club with passionate fans and a great squad to be coming into. Thanks for all the well messages. Let’s get to work.”

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