Huddersfield Giants forward Ryan Hinchcliffe will retire at the end of the season and return to Australia. Hinchcliffe has been a key figure for the Super League side since joining from NRL outfit Melbourne Storm in 2016.
The 33-year-old, who has scored 12 tries in 86 appearances, could still help the Giants to reach the play-off semi-finals, although they sit six points adrift of fourth-placed Warrington Wolves with four games left to play.
Hinchcliffe told the club’s official website: “I want to say a big thank you to the Huddersfield Giants Rugby Leagues Club for the opportunity for me to come across and play in the claret and gold.
I’ll be retiring at the end of this season and I’ll leave with a lot of good memories.
“I’ve really enjoyed my time here at the Giants, but I just feel that it’s the right time for me to call it a day and head back home. There’re a few things in the pipeline for transition into retirement and I’m excited at what the future holds.”
Head coach Simon Woolford admits Hinchcliffe’s exit will be a big blow to the club and has hailed his professionalism.
Woolford said: “He’s one of those guys that lead by example on and off the field and he’s certainly going to be a loss for us next year.
“His attitude towards his footy is second to none, but he’s also pretty switched on.
“He’s the ultimate professional. I’ve known him a long time since we played together back at the Canberra Raiders in the early 2000s and he’s worked hard his whole career.”