Kallum Watkins denied Leeds farewell with move to Gold Coast imminent

Kallum Watkins of Leeds
Kallum Watkins of Leeds

Kallum Watkins has been denied the chance to make a farewell appearance for Leeds this weekend.

The England centre had hoped to feature for the Rhinos for one last time on Sunday before linking up with new club Gold Coast Titans.

But the 28-year-old has now been told that is not possible because of the timing of Leeds' Betfred Super League clash with Catalans Dragons at Emerald Headingley.

Watkins signed a deal earlier this month to join the Australian side on July 1.

Given that the Rhinos' 3pm kick-off on June 30 is midnight in Sydney, Watkins will not be eligible to play. That means his appearance in last week's loss at St Helens was his last for the Rhinos.

Rhinos coach Richard Agar said: "It is disappointing for Kallum that he does not get to say goodbye at Emerald Headingley after his outstanding service for the club.

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

Watkins, who joined Leeds as a teenager and has won six Super League titles since making his debut in 2008, has now already left for Australia.

Gold Coast moved quickly to secure Watkins' services after Leeds initially announced earlier this month the player would be released at the end of the season.

Australia prop Trent Merrin will take over as Leeds captain for the visit of the Dragons.

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