Melbourne centre Beau Champion will leave the club at the end of the season, after taking up an option in his contract to play elsewhere in 2012.
Champion, 24, confirmed with the club that he will be actively looking for a new club next season due to personal and family reasons.
Melbourne Storm Football Manager, Frank Ponissi, confirmed discussions between Champion, his manager Sam Ayoub and the club were all amicable, with all parties understanding the extenuating circumstances surrounding his contract.
“We all know Beau’s situation and the unique set of events which brought him to the club in January,” said Ponissi.
“Beau had the security of a three year deal; with a clear understanding he had an option to look elsewhere should he not be able to settle a number of factors, which he was upfront about from the outset.
“We respect his decision and everyone here at Melbourne Storm is confident Beau will continue to commit himself 100% to the team for the remainder of the season.”
Storm management and Champion agreed it was in each party’s best interests to announce the decision now to allow Champion to concentrate on his football, whilst his manager Sam Ayoub continued to further investigate options beyond 2011.
“Everyone at Melbourne Storm has been brilliant and I really appreciate the opportunity to play with the club and this group of players,” Champion said.
“They are second to none in their professionalism, led by Craig Bellamy and supported by the staff and all the players.
“Melbourne is a wonderful city with heaps to offer and Storm are doing great job down here. I just honestly miss a few things that are very important to me from a personal point of view.
“I look forward to finishing the year off really strong, started this Friday night with City and then hopefully backing up on Saturday for the Storm v Broncos.”