Dual-code star Eastmond says passion is no longer there

·1-min read
Kyle Eastmond capped by England in both rugby league and rugby union has retired from the sport saying he no longer has the passion to influence the game on the pitch

Kyle Eastmond capped by England in both rugby union and rugby league has hung up his boots saying he no longer has the passion "to influence the game."

The 31-year-old won four caps for the England rugby league team and went on to play six Tests in rugby union after switching codes.

However, having returned to rugby league with Super League outfit Leeds Rhinos in March he has called time just five games into the campaign.

He played in two of those, although he has not featured since their loss to Hull KR on April 23.

"I love rugby and will always be involved in it," said Eastmond in a statement.

"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."

Rhinos director of rugby Kevin Sinfield praised Eastmond for his "incredibly brave decision."

"When we originally spoke to him, we had belief in his ability and talent and that remains the case," said Sinfield.

"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."

Eastmond began his rugby league career at St Helens 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 by 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 missing out on a place in England's 2015 World Cup squad.