Huddersfield Giants playmaker Luke Robinson has been forced to retire from the game with immediate effect.
The 31-year-old ex- England international, who has operated at both half back and hooker for the Super League club, took what he described as ‘ultimately an easy’ decision after consulting with specialists over a hip injury.
It brings to an end a 14-year career for the Halifax-born player who started out in Super League with Wigan Warriors, where he had played from junior level, before joining Salford and then the Giants in 2008 – going on to play 160 games in the Claret and Gold.
Robinson, who was capped six times by England, said: “In many ways the decision was taken out of my hands due to what the specialist said.
“Put simply my long term mobility was greatly at risk if I continued to train and play the sport.
“You never want to hear those sorts of words and it does shock you, but after a few days the message sinks in and you have to do what’s right for yourself and your family.
“I am blessed with a family who have given so much support to me during my career. Now is the time to give something back by taking proper advice and ensuring that I can do all the things that parents do with their children.
“While of course it’s with a heavy heart that I make the announcement, it is the right course of action.”
However, it does not signal the end of Robinson’s association with the Giants.
He added: “My immediate future will be rehabilitation from an operation which the club are fully supporting me through and then we have said we’ll sit down and look at where I can be of benefit to the club.
“Over these past few years I have come to regard this as my club and it’s the only one I want to be at - that is how I’ve felt for a good while now.
“I want to put something back into the club and the local community that has been so supportive of my time here, but we have said we’ll assess that as and when I am back mobile and I am able to contribute.
“Words cannot describe how difficult it was telling the lads of the decision to hang the boots up – especially at the moment when we are low on numbers – but I really have no choice.”
Giants managing director Richard Thewlis paid tribute to the player and said: “This is a very sad day for all concerned, but as he himself says it’s one that will allow him to move on to the next chapter of his rugby league career safe and secure physically with every possible support we can give him.
“I am sure that many tributes will be paid to him by his coaches and fellow players, and for mine he has been an absolutely key figure in our rise from cellar dwellers to play-off regulars.”
The Giants hopes of signing Dewsbury-born full-back Curtis Naughton on loan from Super League rivals Hull FC have been dashed.