Hull captain Ellis to retire at end of 2017

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Hull FC captain Gareth Ellis has announced he will bring an end to his illustrious rugby league career at the end of the 2017 season.

A former Great Britain and England international, Ellis represented Wakefield Trinity and Leeds Rhinos during a 10-year stint in Super League before a 2009 switch to the NRL, where he excelled for Wests Tigers.

The versatile forward returned to England with Hull in 2013 and led the club to Challenge Cup glory last term, during a campaign in which he was also nominated for the Man of Steel award won by team-mate Danny Houghton.

Ellis had recently hinted at a willingness to sign a new deal with Hull, but has now opted to make this season his last before he takes up the role of football manager at the KCOM Stadium.

The 36-year-old, who is set to make his 450th career appearance on Friday against Huddersfield Giants, said: "The timing is right. To bow out now while I'm able to contribute wholeheartedly on the field.

"We're back at Wembley next weekend [for a second successive Challenge Cup final] and in sight of only a second ever Grand Final. I'm determined to finish on a high and I'm dreaming of that fairytale finish."

Hull coach Lee Radford said: "It will be disappointing not to have Gareth out there on the football field next season, but I'm really excited to have him involved in an off-field role with us.

"I'd love nothing more than to see him with the Super League trophy raised above his head at Old Trafford in October. That's what we're all striving for at the moment and that's the focus for us - to send him out on the highest note possible."

With five rounds of the Super 8s remaining, Hull sit third in the table and are on course to make the play-offs.