Sheffield Eagles forward Liam Higgins has been forced to retired after a 12-year career - much of it playing in the Super League - because of a knee injury.
Doncaster-born Higgins played 56 games for the Eagles in two spells starting in 2011 and was in the team that won the 2012 Grand Final.
The former Hull FC and Castleford and Wakefield front-rower suffered the injury in the Eagles Championship play-off semi-final win over Halifax last season.
Higgins said: “It’s not the way I would have liked to have ended my career, weeks before the start of the new season, but I’ve had a great 12 years playing rugby league.”
Eagles coach Mark Aston was resigned to Higgins missing most of the 2014 season after knee surgery but added: “He’s a great individual and we’ll miss his power in the forwards. I speak for everyone at the club in wishing him well.”
Reserve forward Leigh Sanders has also been ruled out for the season with a shoulder injury. Sanders joined the Eagles from amateurs Hoyland Vikings in 2010 and was on the fringe of the first-team squad.