Lee Jewitt is leaving Castleford Tigers when his contract expires at the end of this season.
Jewitt and his family are moving to Australia where the 29-year-old forward has signed a one-year contract with Townsville Blackhawks, the feeder club for North Queensland Cowboys.
Jewitt joined the Tigers in 2014 from French side Limoux after making over 100 appearances for Salford City Reds in a six-year spell.
He started his career with Wigan Warriors, for whom he made his debut in 2005.
Jewitt said: “Bec and I have always wanted to live in Australia. We’ve dreamt of doing it all our lives and eventually we want to emigrate over there. Our twin boys have come such a long way now and it’s just been an opportunity, as a family, that we couldn’t turn down.
“It will be really tough for me to leave Cas.
“I’ve dreaded this bit, I reckon if I was at any other club then I would just be doing my job, but this club is special, I love it here, and it’s not just me, when your kids are always talking about it and how much they love it, then yeah it’s going to be tough to leave here.”
Jewitt says he can’t thank the club enough for all the support he has received following the premature birth of his twin boys last year and has set his sights on going out with a bang.
He added: “I want to leave here on a high. This is a special club and a special team. I love the boys here and the coaching staff and I just want to leave here knowing that I have done my best for them, so that they can say they are proud of me, and that I have given it all that I’ve got. The dream for me now is to leave knowing that I’ve helped bring a trophy back to this club, because this club and these fans deserve that.”
Tigers head coach Daryl Powell understands Jewitt’s decision to make the move.
Powell said: “Lee Jewitt has been a quality player for the club over the last two years. He has been a great addition to our pack and during his difficult year personally in 2015 you could clearly see how highly respected he is within this club. Once he has finished his time at Cas with a superb season I wish him and his family all the best in their move to Australia.”
Tigers chief executive Steve Gill said: “Although we are really disappointed to be losing a player of Lee’s quality, I fully understand the reasons behind him wanting a fresh start in Australia. Lee and his beautiful family will always have a special place in our hearts down here at the Mend-A-Hose Jungle, and we wish them all the best with their new life down under.”