THE Giants have announced that their inspirational captain and full-back Brett Hodgson, the reigning Super League Man of Steel, will leave the club at the end of the season.
The 32-year-old Australian, whose two-year contract runs out in October, has rejected the Giants’ offer of a 12-month extension and is expected to join Super League rivals Warrington on a two-year deal from 2011.
"It was always our intention to see how Brett was going after the first two months of the season and, as was the case last year, his form is outstanding hence we offered him a contract extension for another year at the club," said Huddersfield managing director Richard Thewlis.
"He wanted the guaranteed security of two years which we were not prepared to do at this stage and, therefore, gave his manager permission to explore the market elsewhere.
"His manager has informed the club that he can attain two years at other clubs and consequently we expect him to move on at the end of the year.
"He will leave with our very best wishes and thanks for his time here and will always be welcomed back in the future."
The news will come as a shock to Huddersfield fans, who were delighted with the form of the former Wests Tigers skipper in his first season with the club.
"I think it’s best that we get this situation out into the open immediately so our supporters know what’s going on as these things usually leak out anyway and we have to look at our recruitment plans again for 2011 without Brett in the side," added Thewlis.
Hodgson, a former NRL Premiership winner with the Tigers who made six State of Origin appearances for New South Wales, has scored 260 points in 29 appearances for the Giants, becoming only the fourth Australian to win the Man of Steel award.
He is expected to replace winger Chris Hicks on Warrington’s overseas quota next season and the move also raises major questions about the future of former Leeds and Wigan full-back Richard Mathers.
Today’s news will add further spice to the fifth-round Challenge Cup tie between Huddersfield and Warrington, a repeat of last year’s final won by the Wolves, at the Galpharm Stadium on Saturday, May 8.
For more reaction see Monday's Examiner