Dobson returning to NRL with Newcastle

Hull KR have been dealt a big blow as captain Michael Dobson has agreed a deal to return home by joining Newcastle Knights at the end of the season.

Dobson, 27, has a clause in his contract, agreed at the time of signing his last KR deal, allowing him to leave the club should an offer come from an NRL club.

This has seen Newcastle approach the playmaker and it was announced this morning that a deal has been reached between the two parties.

Chairman Neil Hudgell is disappointed but says Dobson will leave with the best wishes of everyone at Hull Kingston Rovers.

He said, “Michael has always harboured an ambition to go back and play in the NRL again and he goes with our blessing and best wishes.

“He has been a terrific servant to Hull KR and is probably the stand-out player for this club during the Super League era.

“Michael has also been an inspirational skipper this year and possess a never-say-die attitude which has probably seen him play in some games when he could quite easily have sat it out.

“His move to Newcastle has only happened in the past 24 hours and we are disappointed that the Knights chose to announce the signing before we had officially agreed the release from his contract with ourselves.

“Michael told me himself last night that he would be leaving and I’m sure that he will continue to be the model professional during the remainder of the year and aim to end his time with Hull KR on a high.”

The search for Dobson’s replacement is already underway with Hudgell asking for the club’s supporters to be patient.

“We’re already on with the task of finding a quality replacement for Michael but won’t be making any panic signings.

“We will find the right recruit, but it won’t happen overnight, so our supporters just need to show a bit of patience.”

Newcastle Knights CEO Matt Gidley had this to say:

“We look forward to Michael joining our Club for the 2014 season.

“Michael has been one of the best half backs in the Super League for a number of years now and will bring further depth in our half back ranks.”

Dobson has been a huge success in East Hull since joining in 2008, scoring 51 tries and 475 goals as he became part of a rare selection of players to score more than 1,000 points for the Robins.

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