Hull KR captain Joel Tomkins has left the club with two years left on his contract.
The Super League club made the surprise announcement five days after securing their top-flight status, saying they granted the former Wigan and England forward a release on compassionate grounds.
Tomkins joined Rovers in June 2018 following his sudden exit from Wigan and made 35 appearances.
馃 Hull Kingston Rovers have, upon request, granted the release of Joel Tomkins on compassionate grounds.The club would like to thank Joel for his time, efforts and leadership whilst at Rovers.馃摑 https://t.co/gb5BJPTowe#RoversRevolution鉁?pic.twitter.com/3Pa4v0LGLw
— Hull Kingston Rovers (@hullkrofficial) September 18, 2019
Hull KR coach Tony Smith said: “Joel has asked the club for a release on compassionate grounds and we have accepted.
“Joel and I have a great relationship and we have thoroughly enjoyed working with each other.
“Everybody at the club would like to wish him all the very best of luck for the future and thank him for his time, efforts and leadership whilst at Rovers.”
After initially joining Rovers on a short-term contract, Tomkins signed an extension that was due to run until the end of 2021 and he was selected via a ballot of his team-mates as captain for 2019, taking over from Shaun Lunt.
Tomkins, whose next move is not yet known, said: “I would like to thank all the players, staff and fans of Hull KR for their support during my time at the club.
“I would like to especially thank (owner) Neil Hudgell and Tony Smith for understanding my position and accepting my request to be released.
“I believe that now is the right time for me to move on and look at the next chapter of my career.
“I have really enjoyed working with Tony and genuinely believe he is the right man to take this club to the next level. I wish the team the best of luck for the future.”
Tomkins, who missed the club’s ast match through suspension, becomes the seventh player to leave the club as Smith prepares to rebuild the team following their close shave with relegation.
Danny McGuire has retired and will take up an off-field role with the club, who announced the departure of Josh Drinkwater, Chris Atkin and James Greenwood a month ago.