Watkins leaves Leeds early after registration deadline mix up

Kallum Watkins has officially played his last game for Leeds and is now on his way to Australia to be registered as a Gold Coast Titans player.

It was initially announced Watkins would be a Rhinos player until midnight on June 30th, playing his final game against Catalans on Sunday.

However he must register as a Titans player by midnight on Sunday 30th June in Sydney (3pm UK time), which prevents the England star having a farewell appearance at Headingley.

“It is disappointing for Kallum that he does not get to say goodbye at Emerald Headingley after his outstanding service for the club,” Interim coach Richard Agar said.

“The circumstances are beyond our control unfortunately. He has said his goodbyes to the players and coaches and leaves with our very best wishes.”

Following Watkins’ exit, Agar confirmed that former Australian international forward Trent Merrin would be the club’s new captain.

“Trent was a natural choice as captain. He has had a big influence on our squad in my time as coach and sets high standards for himself.

“In recent weeks, as we have looked to rebuild our game, he has been a key part of that.

“Games against Catalans are always tough, especially in the position we find ourselves in, however Trent is one of those guys you would want beside you in the trenches and I know he will lead by example.”