Former Leeds Rhinos centre and current St Helens star Konrad Hurrell has become one of the most beloved characters in the Betfred Super League since bursting onto the scene in 2019.
He joined Leeds from Gold Coast Titans at the end of 2018 and was an instant hit among Leeds fans. Not only because of his powerful running game but also because of his magnetic character. He would celebrate with fans after every game singing Marching on Together mimicking a trumpet.
He would help the Rhinos win the Challenge Cup in 2020 producing a superb assist for the opening try for Tom Briscoe in the Wembley final against Salford Red Devils.
In the end, injuries got the best of Hurrell resulting in him spending the latter part of his time at Leeds in 2021 as an impact sub before joining national coach Kristian Woolf at St Helens after working together in the past at Tonga.
Hurrell would cross for a try against Leeds in the 2022 Grand Final as Saints won a fourth consecutive Grand Final. All of this ran parallel with his time playing for Tonga as they grew in the international scene including at the 2017 World Cup and wins over Great Britain and Australia in 2019.
However, after an emotional display at Headingley on Sunday, the perhaps unsurprising news of Hurrell’s international retirement has been confirmed.
Hurrell said on social media: “Thank you very much to all of Tonga for this beautiful girl who flew from England, very soon. Many thanks to all of you who have been together for so many years. Thank you Kristian for what you’ve done for us and still continue to do so.”
Meanwhile, Tonga’s official page paid tribute to both him and Will Hopoate who is also retiring: “From the historic feats of 2017 to defeating Great Britain and the Kangaroos in 2019. What a journey you have both achieved. We thank you for everything you have given to our little nation and we wish you both all the best in your next chapter.”
Hurrell signed an extension on his St Helens deal last year to keep him at the club for the 2024 season. Will Hopoate’s future though is still up in the air.