Laffranchi to leave Saints

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14th August 2014

St Helens forward Anthony Laffranchi is to leave First Utility Super League and return to Australia at the end of the season, the player has announced.

The 34-year-old prop, who has made 66 appearances for Saints since joining them from Gold Coast Titans ahead of the 2012 season, intends to hang up his boots and take up a development role at his old club.

Laffranchi, who won five caps for Australia and made four State of Origin appearances for New South Wales, represented Italy in the 2013 World Cup but missed three months of the 2014 season after undergoing surgery for a career-threatening arm injury.

"I'd made up my mind pretty much to go home at the beginning of the season and, when the surgery was suggested, it was in my mind to get it done, get some rehab and then go back with some function in my arm," Laffranchi said.

"I had to think post rugby league and the quality of life with my three kids.

"I've enjoyed my time here and wish I would have come over a bit earlier. It is a great club, I love the culture and I have been blessed to have been here.

"I will be sad to leave but will be starting a new chapter at the Titans."

Laffranchi is a month into his comeback and hoping to end his career on a high by helping Saints to Grand-Final glory at Old Trafford in October.

"I thought my season was over," he said. "This is my new year in a way. I've been back a month now and I feel good.

"It's good to be coming back into some big games at the end of the year. Now we have to kick on.

"We want to finish top and put a little silverware there. It will be disappointing if it comes to the last week and we get knocked off. We have been there most of the year and it will be disappointing if we let it go."