SHAUN Magennis has announced his retirement from professional Rugby League.
The 23-year-old forward made 33 appearances for the club, scoring four tries, after signing from Blackbrook.
But despite a gruelling rehabilitation programme and a number of successful comebacks, a knee injury has forced him to retire.
“My knee has been bad for a few years now,” Shaun said, “but not just last season; since I was 17 really. It was getting worse and worse and I kept having surgery on it. It came to a point last year when I couldn’t train fully and I stopped looking forward to training as my knee was that sore.
“When I did train it was swelling up and I wasn’t fully fit. I spoke to my surgeon and he said he could do an operation so I could get on with the rest of my life. In the end I chose that and now I have to move on.
“I could have played for another year but that would have made it worse and I was struggling with everyday life as it is. It was tough to go upstairs and walk so that’s why I had the operation.
“The operation involved two screws and my tibia has been moved… and that means it wouldn’t be successful for rugby players as you are constantly hitting the ground. It was an easy decision to make in the end.”
He continues: “I have played in a lot of big games and even though my career has been cut short, playing Leeds, Wigan, Warrington and Hull away were highlights. I haven’t done what I wanted to do like win trophies and play for GB, but that is life. I have played rugby since I was 7 and have put a lot into it. Now I have to do that in another career.
“I’d like to thank the fans for their support and the coaches I have worked with. Eric Chisnall, Derek Traynor and Mike Rush all put a lot of faith in me. I’d also like to thank my family for being there.”
General Manager Mike Rush added: “We are all upset that Shaun has had to retire from the sport. I first saw him when he was an 11-year-old playing in a cup final against Dewsbury. He was outstanding and continued that throughout his Academy career.
“He has shown great mental toughness to come back from a number of injuries but sadly this latest one is one step too far.
“We will continue to rehabilitate Shaun and offer as much support as we can as he looks to take up the next challenge in his life.”