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Friday, 18 April 2014

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Carl Rudd admits it’s time to hang up his boots

WHITEHAVEN stalwart Carl Rudd is to hang up his boots at the end of the season due to a long-term knee problem.

Carl Rudd photo
Carl Rudd

The half-back has endured nine knee operations over his career and feels the injury will not allow him to train to the necessary standard for life next season in the Championship.

“The knee isn’t letting me train how I probably need to train in the league above,” the 29-year-old said. “I would need to up it quite a bit, and I don’t think my body will let me do it. I think the time is right for me.

“I’m still healthy and can do things with the kids. But if I carried on playing, I don’t know how much more damage I could do. The time is right to stop, for my future, even though I would love to carry on playing. I’ve done eight years now and I’m quite pleased with what I achieved.”

Rudd is to remain at the Recre in an off-field role.

Coach Don Gailer said: “We might be saying goodbye to him on the playing field, but we are not letting him go. He can be in any team I pick, and that includes the coaching team.

“He will be in the coaching staff, identifying amateur players and others, getting involved in development.”

The scope of the new role is still being worked out, but Rudd believes bridges need to be built between the pro and amateur games.

He said: “There’s loads of young talent in Cumbria and they need to go somewhere to take the next step in the game. If we at Whitehaven can do that for them, it will be good. I don’t think they see Whitehaven or Workington as the next step. They see Super League as the next step.

“From my point of view, at the moment there is no bond between amateur and professional clubs, and for the good of Cumbria, we need to get it back, with people wanting to play for Whitehaven, like we did when we signed eight years ago.

“That might change this year with the Cumbrian teams getting to the league above, I don’t know.”

Rudd believes it will be a big lure to top amateur talent if Haven reinstate a second-string next term, so promising players will be in regular match action even if not initially in the first-team.

Gailer hailed Rudd’s huge role in ensuring Haven were promoted this term.

“Everyone has spoken about how well Jamie Rooney has changed the team since he has been here, and he has,” the coach added.

“He gave us the direction we knew we had been lacking. But before then, and even since, Ruddy has been an integral wheel in this side. Quite frankly, I don’t think we would have got promotion without Carl Rudd.

“Week after week he has been our best player. It took a load off him when Jamie got here and started to organise, because by his own admission Ruddy isn’t an organiser. But he has a great attacking and kicking game, and has worked so hard in defence, regularly pulling 30 tackles a match now. He has been great. I admire him for what he has put himself through with his knee. It blows up after training sessions and games, yet on a Monday morning he will still be down at the ground doing weights, and still at every session. You’ve got to admire a guy like that.”

Haven last week made Rudd’s half-back partner Rooney first signing for their Championship campaign, though Gailer has not yet signed a deal, despite being offered a return ticket for next term. He is still thrashing out off-field matters.

London Skolars host Haven on Friday night (6.30pm), in a match broadcast live on Premier Sports.

This week’s Pride of Five £100 winners are: T Southeard, Ulverston, with ticket number 103; D Brierley, Cleator Moor, 1,371; D Scott, Rannerdale Drive, Whitehaven, 1,694; J Woloszyn, Victoria Road, Whitehaven, 282; P Murdock, Woodhouse, 2,587.

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