Rob Lui to leave Leeds Rhinos - former Salford Red Devils stand-off confims he will return to Australia at end of 2021
Australian stand-off Rob Lui will leave Leeds Rhinos when his contract expires this autumn.
The 31-year-old plans to return Down Under and play second-tier rugby in Queensland, where he was born.
Lui joined Rhinos from Salford Red Devils in June, 2019.
He helped them avoid relegation from Betfred Super League that season and was a member of their Challenge Cup winning side last year.
The former Wests Tigers and North Queensland Cowboys back has yet to play this season, after tearing a quad muscle in training two months ago, but hopes to be available for selection within the next five weeks.
Lui told the Evening Post: “Me and my family have decided this is going to be my last year here.
“It wasn’t fair on my partner being over here, away from family - with my son being autistic too.
“I am going to go back home and hopefully play in the Queensland Cup, up north where I am from.”
Lui confirmed: “I’ve let everyone know at the club.
“I didn’t want to hold someone back like Cal McLelland [Rhinos’ 21-year-old stand-off].
“I do have a soft spot for Leeds, winning the Challenge Cup and it is a good bunch of boys here, but me and my partner had a talk and it was time just to finish off this year and then go back home.
“I have been here [in England] six years and I have enjoyed every single bit of it.”
The decision to leave has made Lui more determined to get back to fitness and finish on a high, he said.
“Hopefully it’ll be four to five weeks,” Lui revealed of his return.
“I am doing all the right things, getting the quad back.
“I just don’t want to come back too early and risk being out longer.
“Everything’s going to plan, I’ve just got to keep doing what I am doing and work hard.”
Lui contracted coronavirus during pre-season and was injured less than four weeks before Rhinos’ opening game.
He admitted: “It has been tough, especially going through pre-season, having Covid, coming back from that and then doing my quad.
“But I am not sulking, I am there for the boys and I am working hard to get back.”
Rhinos, who meet Wakefield Trinity at Emerald Headingley on Friday, have lost their last five games in all competitions and Lui conceded that has made his layoff harder to bear.
“It has been tough watching the boys, but they are giving it their all,” he said.
“But I wish I was out there, especially with the number of senior players out.
“We just need a bit of senior leadership and I reckon we will be okay.
“We are missing a bit of leadership out on the field, to finish sets off and build a bit of pressure, but the season is still early.
“We are five games in, we’ve still got a long season.
“We just need one win to get confidence back and I think we will go from there.”
Lui is one of a posse of players poised to return from injury over the next few weeks, including half-backs Luke Gale and Kyle Eastmond who both trained yesterday.
Lui added: “I still believe we can reach the finals.
“All we need is that one win and I think we’ll get a roll on.
“We get Zane [Tetevano] back soon, Galey is back now and I think Harry [Newman] is not far off.
“Once we are all back in training and there’s competition for spots you’ll see us get the best out of players.”
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