Kevin Naiqama to leave St Helens at end of season

St Helens centre Kevin Naiqama will leave the club at the end of the season to return home to Australia to spend time with his family.

The 32-year-old joined the club ahead of the 2019 campaign from NRL side Wests Tigers. He has scored 35 tries in 68 games for Saints and has helped them win back-to-back Super League titles as well as the Challenge Cup.

The Fiji international has decided to head home at the end of the season, with his new-born baby and his family a priority.

Naiqama said: “Firstly, I want to thank Eamonn McManus, Mike Rush, Justin Holbrook and Kristian Woolf who all played a part in giving me the chance to play for this historic club.

“Woolfie and my team-mates have all been great with me since I arrived and I couldn’t have wished to spend my time here with a better group of players.

“Winning back-to-back Super League titles is something I never thought I would experience over here and to top it off with the Challenge Cup was unreal.

“Off the field times have been tough for everyone. On a personal note, my wife Lily gave birth to our first born recently. I had to experience the birth of my daughter through FaceTime – in a hospital car park. It’s been the hardest years we have faced as a couple, especially with my wife having to go through that on her own and it naturally caused a lot of traumas for the both of us.

“On the back of that, both myself and my wife’s mental health were affected, but I want to thank the club welfare team of Paul Johnson and Dave Kirk for helping us through it.

“I also want to personally thank my wife for her strength in getting through it, without our family to support us. I can’t thank her enough for the sacrifices she has made which has enabled me to dream and continue to play professional rugby league and finish off the season here at St Helens.

“I finally want to thank the St Helens fans, who have shown love to me and my family. I’m certainly going to miss St Helens and the community. I want to wish the club all the best in the future, but my focus now is to end with a third Super League crown.”

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