Exclusive ANDRE SNYMAN will retire from professional rugby after Leeds Tykes' celebration derby against Rotherham Titans on Sunday.
The former Springbok's final act as a full-time player will be to receive the National One trophy at the end of the game. The 33-year-old is returning to South Africa to pursue a business career.
Snyman, who will sit out the final game of the season at Plymouth next week, is perhaps Leeds's most successful overseas signing: the wing-cum-centre arrived in 2003 and made an instant impact with his formidable defence and potent ball-carrying. In four seasons, he was never dropped. He made 85 first-team appearances, scored the decisive try in the Powergen Cup victory of 2005 and helped to secure a return to the Guinness Premiership.
Even when the team was relegated last season, Snyman stood out for his commitment, showing form that earned him a recall from South Africa. He extended his tally of Test caps by two to 38, but was unable to cement his place in the side and after a brief spell with Perpignan, he returned to Leeds in December. The Tykes have won all of the 10 league games he has started and he will be missed next season.
He said: "I came back to Leeds to help them get back in the Premiership. I was always going to review the situation at the end of the season. I have done my job and business opportunities have come up that I cannot afford not to make the most of."
Director of rugby Stuart Lancaster added: "Very few players possess the qualities that Andre displays both on and off the field. He is a true club man and a world-class player."
Hugely promising young lock Kearnan Myall has signed a new three-year deal.
Leeds secured promotion a fortnight ago when they won at Otley and Rotherham lost at home to Doncaster. Sunday's match will now be a carnival rather than a title showdown, but Leeds are determined to put on a show for their supporters and avenge December's defeat at Clifton Lane.
Neither will Rotherham be taking the fixture lightly.
"It's about pride and passion," said outgoing coach Andre Bester, who includes Leeds-bound pair Joe Bedford and Adam Hopcroft in his XV. "There is no doubt in my mind that Leeds have been the best side in the division, but we have never stopped fighting and going there is a big motivation for us."
Both sides will select their strongest available sides.
The Titans have announced a sponsorship deal with Complete Technical Services and have confirmed the appointment of new coach Phil Werahiko, who said: "There is a strong belief that Rotherham can win National One next season."
Doncaster can ensure a Yorkshire one-two-three if they take maximum points at home to relegated Waterloo. The Knights are without fractured cheek victim Ben Gollings. John Cannon and Ben Phillips return.
Otley will be relegated if they lose at Exeter and Moseley win at home to London Welsh. Coach Peter Clegg takes some hope from the fact that Exeter will be playing their third fixture in just six days.
"We know we're favourites to go down," he said. "But strange things can happen. We'll give it our best shot."
In National Two, fifth-placed Wharfedale travel to Stourbridge, and Halifax need to beat Redruth if they are to avoid finishing just one place above the bottom three. Relegated Bradford & Bingley play lowly Barking, and bottom club Harrogate entertain Blackheath.
Morley travel to National Three North's bottom side Orrell, and Cleckheaton and Hull Ionians host Darlington and Fylde respectively.