Kyle Eastmond announces retirement from the sport

Former dual-code England international Kyle Eastmond has announced his retirement from professional rugby with immediate effect.

Monday, 17th May 2021, 11:09 am
Updated Monday, 17th May 2021, 11:10 am
Kyle Eastmond scoring for Saints in the 2009 Grand Final

Eastmond, 31, returned to rugby league in March after signing a two-year deal with Super League outfit Leeds following a decade in the 15-man code.

He made his Rhinos debut against Wigan on April 15 and also started in the defeat at Hull KR eight days later but has not featured since.

Eastmond made six appearances for England during his career in rugby union, scoring one try against Argentina in 2013, and played for Bath, Wasps and Leicester.

In a statement on Leeds’ official website, Eastmond said: “I love rugby and will always be involved in it.

“I’ve come to realise the passion to influence the game is no longer on the field. It is this love and respect for the game that leads me to this decision.

“I would like to say thank you so much to Kevin Sinfield, Leeds Rhinos and all the fans and wish the team all the best for the rest of the season.”

Eastmond came through St Helens’ academy and made his first-team debut during the 2007 campaign, enjoying a four-year stint at the club.

He scored all of Saints’ points in the 18-10 Super League Grand Final defeat to Leeds in 2009 and also won all four of his England caps later that winter.

Eastmond swapped codes in 2011, signing for Bath and narrowly missed out on a place in England’s 2015 World Cup squad.

He endured an injury-hit two seasons at Wasps before joining Leicester in 2018 and decided to return to rugby league earlier this year with Leeds.

Rhinos director of rugby Sinfield added: “I think this is an incredibly brave decision by Kyle and a testament to the high standards that he sets for himself.

“When we originally spoke to him, we had belief in his ability and talent and that remains the case however after a year out of rugby due to the pandemic, he has found that he is unable to reach the standards he expects of himself in training and playing.

“He will leave the club with our best wishes for the future.”