Super League: Ben Jones-Bishop confirms he will leave Leeds Rhinos at the end of the season
Jones-Bishop has struggled to break into the starting line-up this season after the Rhinos signed wing Tom Briscoe and will leave when his contract expires
Saturday 10 May 2014
Super League leaders Leeds Rhinos have announced that England Knights winger Ben Jones-Bishop will leave the club at the end of the season.
The 25-year-old is out of contract this year and the Rhinos have confirmed that he has rejected the offer of a new deal.
Jones-Bishop lost his place to England winger Tom Briscoe following his arrival in the winter from Hull and has made just five appearances so far this season, most recently at Castleford on Friday when he took his try tally to 53 in 76 appearances.
Leeds chief executive Gary Hetherington said: "It is always disappointing to lose a local player like Ben who has come through our academy and made his mark in the first team but we fully understand his decision to turn down the offer of a longer term contract last season to leave his options open.
"Ben was always going to be a valuable member of this year's squad and he will continue to be so until the end of the season. He will leave for a club of his choice as a good friend of the Rhinos and with everyone's best wishes."
The news will spark a mad scramble for the services of Jones-Bishop. Coach Brian McDermott has already rejected a host of requests to take him on loan and insists he will remain part of his plans for the rest of this season.
"Ben has shown what a complete professional he is this season with his attitude and commitment to the team through what has obviously been a frustrating period for him personally," McDermott said.
"Every day in training he is helping to set the standard that we aspire to, whether he is involved on the game day or not and I appreciate that, as do his team mates.
"He remains one of the best young English players in our competition and he has shown, when called upon this season, as he did at Castleford, that he is a clinical finisher of chances.
"It will be sad to see him go at the end of the season but he will go with all our best wishes and I know he will have a big part still to play in this season for the Rhinos."
Bishop, who made his debut in 2008 and played in the Rhinos' 2011 and 2012 Grand Finals, said: "I have been at the Rhinos for seven years now so it will be sad for me to leave and it was a big decision to reject the offer of a longer contract last season but I wanted to keep my options open until now.
"I will miss the Rhinos players and fans but they can be assured I want to finish my time here on a high and I will be trying my best to contribute to that success in any way I can."
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