Newcastle Knights captain Kurt Gidley will leave the NRL at the end of the season after signing a one-year deal with Super League side Warrington Wolves.
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Gidley confirmed the move on Tuesday, with his deal with the English outfit including an option for a second year.
The veteran sais he felt mixed emotions about making the move abroad.
“I have felt sad about leaving, I have felt excited about a new challenge but I am mostly relieved that I have reached the stage of making this decision,” Gidley said in a Knights statement.
“It was a tough one. Newcastle people have been great; they are very supportive, both in good times and in bad.
“I appreciate the support I have had, and the way the town supports the team.”
The 32-year-old has played 236 games for the Knights since making his debut back in 2001 and is the club’s third most-capped player.
Gidley has 12 Test caps to his name, as well as 12 State of Origin appearances for New South Wales.
“I have been lucky, to grow up in Newcastle, to have my family’s support and to play for this great club,” Gidley said.
“I played at West Newcastle from seven years of age and then made the transition at 17 to play for the Knights, which was directly across from where I trained.
“I struggled to make the Knights juniors but I think that made me just work harder.
“So to play in my hometown as long as I have, to play alongside my eldest brother, have my family support at home and away games, as well as captain the club has just been a huge honour.”
The utility was also linked with a move to French-based Catalans Dragons, but decided to join the Cheshire-based club.
Gidley has long harboured ambitions to follow in his brother Matt’s footsteps and play in the Super League.
Matt Gidley played four seasons at English giants St Helens between 2007 and 2010.