International forward departs Championship club after receiving offer ‘difficult for anyone to turn down’

Drew Darbyshire
Brenden Santi Keighley Cougars SWpix

Photo: Olly Hassell/SWpix

Championship club Keighley have announced that Italy international Brenden Santi has left the club after receiving an offer that would be ‘difficult for anyone to turn down’.

The 29-year-old forward has made 47 appearances for the Cougars since arriving at the club ahead of the 2021 season from Newcastle Thunder.

Santi, who has represented Italy in the last three World Cups, has activated a clause in his contract and Keighley have agreed to release him from the remainder of his contract.

Cougars chief executive Ryan O’Neill said: “It is with regret that Brenden is to leave the club with immediate effect with an offer that would be difficult for anyone to turn down.

“I have gone on record over the last two or three weeks and said that if a player has his head turned then it’s time to let him move on as it’s impossible to focus on the job at hand.

“Brenden has been a fine example of player for Keighley both on and off the field and I, and the board wish him well in his new move.”

Brenden Santi: This decision is not one I have made easily

Australia-born Santi came through the ranks at WestsTigers, making his NRL debut in 2014. He played 11 games for the Tigers in the NRL before spending a couple of years in the Queensland Cup and New South Wales Cup.

Santi made the move to the northern hemisphere with Toulouse in 2019, where he spent a season with French club Toulouse before joining Newcastle and then Keighley.

On the international stage, Santi has won 15 caps for Italy, representing his Italian heritage in the last three World Cups.

On departing Keighley, Santi said: “I would like to thank the club, the O’Neill family, and Ryan and Kaue (Garcia) personally for everything that has been done for me during my time here.

“The generosity and support during my time at Keighley has been greatly appreciated, and this decision is not one that I have made easily.

“To the fans, I must thank you from the bottom of my heart. You have welcomed me to the town and taken me in as one of your own and for that I am ever grateful.

“I realise this will be an unpopular decision with fans but I felt it was one I had to make to ensure I didn’t stagnate as a player.”

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