Super League club Leeds Rhinos have confirmed the retirement of 35-year-old former NRL prop Matt Prior, effective immediately. Though Prior was signed with the Rhinos until the end of the 2023 season and had previously expressed an interest in seeing out the deal, both he and the club have confirmed the revised date.
He retires after 63 Super League appearances and 253 NRL games for St George Illawarra and Cronulla, winning premierships with both clubs, including the drought-breaking historic title with the Sharks in 2016.
Renowned for his workmanlike efforts and consistency, Prior also earned a sole State of Origin call-up in Game 2 of the 2018 series, helping the Blues claim a series victory after three years of consecutive defeats.
His last game of first-grade football was the Rhinos' Super League Grand Final defeat to St Helens.
“It's a decision I haven't taken lightly, but to finish with the Rhinos in a grand final seems like a fitting way to bring my career to a close,” Prior said.
“I've been fortunate to play for so long in the NRL and Super League without too many injuries and I can look back with so many good memories.
“My last three years in Leeds with the Rhinos have been especially good for me and my family. I'd like to thank all the players, staff and fans for their welcome and support.”
Though it's certainly not a like-for-like swap, the Mirror reports that the Rhinos could be looking to fill their available overseas quota spot with current PNG outside back Nene Macdonald, who played with Prior at the Dragons.