Gareth Ellis: Hull FC forward announces retirement aged 39

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Gareth Ellis played 477 games in his career, including 28 after coming out of retirement in 2019

Former Hull FC captain and England international Gareth Ellis has retired from rugby league at the age of 39.

Ellis, who also had spells at Wakefield, Leeds and NRL side Wests Tigers returned to the field last year after first retiring in 2017.

The forward played 17 times for Great Britain and 16 times for England.

“Now the dust has settled on our season, it seems the right time to officially confirm my second retirement,” he told the club website.

“Whereas the decision to retire at the end of the 2017 season was very difficult and one I wrestled with for some time, as you can imagine this time around it was much more straightforward and something I have alluded to throughout this year’s campaign.

“With a young family and the advice of the people around me; my Dad, staff at the club and coaches, I decided it was time to hang up the boots for a second time while continuing to train and focus on helping the team improve for the rest of the season.”

Gareth Ellis lifts the Challenge Cup in 2017
Gareth Ellis was the first Hull FC captain to lift the Challenge Cup at Wembley

Ellis will take up a coaching role at the club, who finished sixth this season and were beaten 29-2 by Wigan in the play-off semi-finals last week.

“I’m really grateful for the opportunity to come out of retirement – it feels like a more natural end to a 21-year career and a decision I’m much more content with this time around,” added Ellis.

“The players kept me young and it was great to be back in the dressing room amongst the lads – something any retired player will tell you they miss the most. Having had the opportunity to experience life as a player for the past 18 months, I feel much better prepared for life after rugby.”



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