Leeds Rhinos confirmed this morning that prop Matt Prior is set to retire after three years at the club at the age of 35.
Prior joined Leeds at the end of 2019 going into 2020 and developed into a key player at the heart of the Rhinos Challenge Cup Final success that season and being crowned the club’s Player of the Year.
He very nearly returned home during this period due to the pandemic but chose to remain at Headingley starting 2021 excellently resulting in the club tying him down to a two-year deal which was set to conclude in 2023.
However, after a year of this two year deal, Prior has chosen to retire at the age of 35 with his last game now officially being the Grand Final defeat to St Helens and for Prior, this was one of the main reasons behind the call to retire.
He said: “It’s a decision I haven’t taken lightly but to finish with the Rhinos in a Grand Final seems like a fitting way to bring my career to a close.
“I’ve been fortunate to play for so long in the NRL and Super League without too many injuries and I can look back with so many good memories.
“My last three years in Leeds with the Rhinos have been especially good for me and my family. I would like to thank all the players, staff and fans for their welcome and support.”
Rhinos Chief Executive Gary Hetherington thanked Prior for his services “Matt will retire with everyone’s best wishes having served the team and club so well over the past three seasons. His retirement will now provide an opportunity to recruit another senior player to the squad, if need be.”
The Rhinos have already replaced Prior with the arrival of Sam Lisone from Gold Coast Titans.
Meanwhile, the Rhinos now have a quota spot they can use to sign a centre following the departure of Zak Hardaker and Liam Sutcliffe.