One of Leeds Rhinos longest ever serving overseas players will make his final appearance for the club on Boxing Day when the Rhinos welcome Wakefield Trinity to Emerald Headingley Stadium.
Brett Delaney, who has spent nine years at the Rhinos, will take the next step in his career in 2019 with a new exciting opportunity with the Leeds Rhinos Foundation while continuing his rugby career as a part time player at a new club.
The 32-year-old, who has made 213 appearances for Leeds since arriving at Emerald Headingley from Gold Coast Titans in 2010, has volunteered his time off the field to work with Leeds Rhinos Foundation, particularly working with the Onside project.
Onside is a nine-week programme run by Leeds Rhinos Foundation in HMP Leeds and HMP Wealstun, Thorp Arch, which aims to reduce the rates of re-offending and combines classroom based work and physical activity sessions aimed at helping the offenders find work upon their release.
Onside uses sport to cover a range of areas including barriers and stereotyping, relationships, behaviour and consequences, aspirations and goal setting responsibility, motivation, teamwork, respect and discipline.
Commenting on the decision, Delaney said: “When I left Australia, I was a 24-year-old kid and I could never of imagined that I would be privileged enough to play nine amazing seasons with a great club like Leeds.
“I am looking forward to working with Leeds Rhinos Foundation. I have enjoyed being able to give something back. I can relate to the programme having grown up in a tough environment, I have been able to show that you can choose a different pathway.
“Even if you get into trouble, that doesn’t mean your life is set on that course and you can still make something of your life.”
Delaney added: “Finally, I would like to thank the Rhinos fans for the incredible the support they have given me over the years.
“The way I have been made to feel welcome in their city has been life changing for me. I am pleased that I will get to say goodbye on the field on Boxing Day and pull on the Rhinos shirt one last time, it will special and I looking forward to being back out there.”
Bob Bowman, Leeds Rhinos Foundation’s Chief Operating Officer, said: “We are delighted to welcome Brett on board with Leeds Rhinos Foundation.
“He has impressed us with his ability to work with some of the most vulnerable and challenging members of our community and successful influence those people to make positive lifestyle choices.”
Leeds Rhinos Director of Rugby Kevin Sinfield added: “It is great that he will stay involved with Leeds Rhinos Foundation and he will always remain a Rhino.”