Castleford forward Lee Jewitt will leave the club when his contract expires at the end of the current season.
The Tigers have confirmed that Jewitt has signed a one-year contract with Townsville Blackhawks, the feeder club for NRL champions North Queensland Cowboys.
He joined the Tigers in 2014 from French side Limoux and played a big part in the great Challenge Cup run which included him scoring the winner against Wigan in the 2014 quarter-final success.
Prior to moving to France, the 29-year-old played for six years with Salford City Reds, playing over 100 games for the club.
He started his career with Wigan Warriors making his debut in 2005 after coming through the youth ranks at the club, and recently notched up his 150th Super League appearance.
“Bec and I have always wanted to live in Australia,” said Jewitt.
“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.
“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 added: “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.”
CEO 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.”