Leeds Rhinos: Grand Final winner Moon to quit game after playing for Leeds tonight

Joel Moon
Joel Moon
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AUSSIE ACE Joel Moon has confirmed he will retire after Leeds Rhinos’ final game of the season tonight.

Moon announced last month this would be his last year at Leeds, but now says he has decided to hang up his boots.

Joel Moon

Joel Moon

The 30-year-old had been linked with a possible return to Australia’s NRL, but insisted: “I’m not sure what I’ll be doing, but I’m not playing.” He said: “I am joining the workforce I’ll do whatever calls me!

“I feel like I’ve done everything [in rugby league] I wanted to do.

“My priority now is getting home with my family.”

The centre/stand-off joined Leeds from Salford Red Devils ahead of the 2013 season and has scored 80 tries in 167 appearances.

He was a member of Rhinos’ 2015 treble-winning side and also featured in the 2014 Challenge Cup and 2017 Grand Final triumphs.

Barring a shock sequence of results, he will bow out when Toronto Wolfpack visit Emerald Headingley in the Betfred Qualifiers this evening.

“It will be emotional,” he admitted.

Moon announced last month this would be his last year at Leeds, but now says he has decided to hang up his boots.

The 30-year-old had been linked with a possible return to Australia’s NRL, but insisted: “I’m not sure what I’ll be doing, but I’m not playing.” He said: “I am joining the workforce I’ll do whatever calls me!

“I feel like I’ve done everything [in rugby league] I wanted to do.

“My priority now is getting home with my family.”

The centre/stand-off joined Leeds from Salford Red Devils ahead of the 2013 season and has scored 80 tries in 167 appearances.

He was a member of Rhinos’ 2015 treble-winning side and also featured in the 2014 Challenge Cup and 2017 Grand Final triumphs.

Barring a shock sequence of results, he will bow out when Toronto Wolfpack visit Emerald Headingley in the Betfred Qualifiers this evening.

“It will be emotional,” he admitted.

“The last month has been emotional. It is going to be a big change, but I have loved every minute of it at Leeds.

“It has been an awesome club. They’ve welcomed me and my family with open arms and I’ve had some great times here.

“When I came here I knew the club was big and they’ve had big success, but in the first year we didn’t win anything. I’d never won anything, ever, so I was a bit anxious. Looking back now, it has been massive.”

Moon will leave England on October 8, but said he hopes to return to visit his former club “to have a few beers and shout at the boys” in the future.

A win tonight or defeat by fewer than 32 points will secure Rhinos’ place in Super League for 2019 and Moon insisted the future for the club is bright.

Though this has been one of the poorest season’s in Rhinos’ history, he said: “That’s just what Leeds is about, they don’t do anything the easy way.

“It is always the hard way, but next year obviously be brighter. We have kind of hit rock bottom and there’s only one way up.”

Toronto finished top of the Championship and beat Super League opposition for the first time last week when they defeated Widnes Vikings.

They are third in the Qualifiers and victory tonight would boost their hopes of securing promotion without having to go through the million pound game.

But Moon insisted: “We want to finish top, that was our goal.

“We need to keep working on things and you don’t to go into next year on a loss. ”

The top-three after the Qualifiers will secure their place in Super League next year. The fourth-placed side will be at home to the team finishing fifth in the million pound match to decide the 12th and final spot.

Salford Red Devils’ 44-10 victory over Toulouse Olympique last night lifted them above Rhinos in the Qualifiers table, but Leeds will finish top if they win tonight.

A defeat by up to 31 points would be enough to secure their place in Super League next year, on for and against. Even if Rhinos lose by 32 points or more they will end the night still in the top-three.

To avoid being dragged into the million pound game they would be relying on Hull KR losing to Widnes or failing to overhaul Leeds’ points difference, which is currently 75 better than Robins’.