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Retiring World Cup star reveals what future could hold

It was announced earlier today that Leeds Rhinos and England wheelchair rugby league star James Simpson was set to retire after an outstanding career in the sport.

The Leeds born player, who made his debut for the Rhinos in 2012, played in seven Grand Finals with his team and won the title in 2018 and again in 2021.  He also captained the side to three Challenge Cup Final victories and the League Leaders Shield in 2019, 2021 and 2022.

On the international stage, Simpson has been a regular for England and won 31 caps, playing in the World Cup for the first time in 2017 before being part of last year’s World Cup winning squad.

Speaking about his retirement Simpson said: “I’m stepping away at a time where I’ve seen the game reach these heights and I’m proud to have played a part in that and hopefully I’ve had an impact as an Ambassador. I’ve seen the Rhinos go from losing every game we’ve ever played to winning the treble. So it’s has been great being part of a team that’s gone from rock bottom to being a challenger every year.

“I will be staying on as a coach and doing some stuff behind the scenes, doing what I can to make the Rhinos team even bigger and better. I’m really looking forward to moving into the coaching role more full time and the chance to not just focus on the Super League team, but also dedicating time to the second team we’ve got now as we grow the sport.”

That tout at continuing his coaching career has been something that Simpson has joked about with England captain Tom Halliwell on social media with the pair interacting about Simpson’s retirement.

Responding to Halliwell’s jibe at Simpson calling it a day, he responded as such.

The Rhinos’ legend had earlier tweeted about what “fresh challenges” that he’ll undertake in the coming months suggesting more than just a resumption of a coaching role but potentially further ventures as the sport develops.

Only this morning did Hull KR make the announcement that they would be adding a wheelchair side to compete for the 2023 season and with the expanding game there will always be a passion for it to be televised, something that Simpson could find himself involved with.

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