HUddersfield Giants prop Stuart Fielden has announced his retirement from the game following a “freak” infection in his knee.
The ex-Great Britain international, who turns 34 next month, commanded a world record £450,000 transfer fee when he left Bradford Bulls for Wigan Warriors seven years ago.
A towering, strong-running presence, Fielden was undoubtedly one of the leading forwards of his generation, his finest performance perhaps coming for Bradford during a remarkable World Club Challenge performance against Wests Tigers in 2006.
Huddersfield signed the Yorkshireman at the end of last season, but he was only able to make a handful of appearances this term due to a persistent knee problem.
He has now joined Paul Anderson’s coaching staff as they look to secure the League Leaders’ Shield and push on for a maiden Grand Final appearance.
“I said I came here to win things and that remains my aim,” said Fielden.
“The club have been superb with me and this freak infection is just typical of the luck of I have had for a while now.
“We have explored every avenue possible and I have trained constantly to get back on the field but it’s not going to be so I have to move on and work off the field to help us achieve.
“I’m grateful of the opportunity Paul (Anderson) has given me and having got over the shock of the knee ruling me out I’m now excited about the next chapter in my career.
“I’m making this announcement now to put all speculation to bed and want us all to concentrate on the next few games for the club which are simply massive.
“I hope to be playing a big part behind the scenes and whatever happens it won’t be for lack of effort on my part. In my career I feel fortunate to have played with and against the best players in the world, and represented my country 32 times.”
England half-back Rangi Chase has handed in a transfer request at Castleford Tigers, the club has confirmed.
The 2011 Man of Steel’s future has been the source of debate for the last 18 months and he now appears to have taken a decisive step towards leaving the Tigers.
There was no indication from Castleford as to whether Chase’s request would be granted, but all signs would now point to him signing for Salford City Reds, who have already failed in two bids for the 27-year-old.
Championship fixtures tonight (all 7.30pm): Batley Bulldogs v Leigh Centurions, Dewsbury Rams v Doncaster, Featherstone Rovers v Whitehaven, Keighley Cougars v Halifax, Sheffield Eagles v Hunslet Hawks, Workington Town v York City Knights.