Senior quits international game to focus on club career

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The Independent Online

The country's most senior Test player has retired from international rugby to concentrate on what remains of his club career. Keith Senior has been a fixture in England and Great Britain teams for the last 12 years and is now 32.

"I've had a great international career, but the time comes when you've got to think of your future in club rugby," said Senior, who is embarking on the final season of his contract with Leeds.

He also confirmed what many suspected about England's disastrous World Cup performance last autumn – that there was a split between the players from Super League's two leading clubs. "There were so many St Helens players and so many Leeds players and we never gelled on the field," he said.

Senior will begin his 14th Super League season against the newcomers, the Celtic Crusaders, at Headingley on Friday night. Leeds say that they have taken extra precautions to keep the pitch fit for play despite the recent snow.

Hull's stranded Australian forward, Michael Crocker, says that he is still determined to play for the club despite being turned down for a visa.

Crocker is appealing against the decision and says he is neither contemplating retirement, nor looking for an NRL club in Australia. "I am under no circumstances retiring from professional rugby league," he insisted. "I'm entirely focused on my visa application for England," he said.