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Hull KR Captain leaves on "Compassionate Grounds"

Joel Tomkins - Leaving KR Photo: Press Association

Hull Kingston Rovers captain Joel Tomkins has been released by the club on compassionate grounds.

The second-rower joined the Robins in June 2018 from Wigan Warriors, and signed an extension until the end of 2021.

Tomkins took over as skipper this season from Shaun Lunt, and played a big role in the second successive survival season.

Up for the cup - Joel Tomkins lifts the Clive Sullivan trophy Credit: Press Association

I would like to thank all the players, staff and fans of Hull KR for their support during my time at the club.

“I believe that now is the right time for me to move on and look at the next chapter of my career.

“I have really enjoyed working with Tony and genuinely believe he is the right man to take this club to the next level. I wish the team the best of luck for the future.”

– Joel Tomkins

The 32-year-old, who scored six tries in 35 appearances, had two years left to run on his contract.

The shock announcement comes five days after the Super League club secured their top-flight status.

Tomkins, who missed the Robins' last match through suspension, becomes the seventh player to leave the club as Smith prepares to rebuild the team.

Danny McGuire has retired to take up an off-field role with the club.

Also departing Craven Park are Josh Drinkwater, Chris Atkin, James Greenwood, Ryan Shaw, and Danny Addy.

Dean Hadley and Jez Litten are the only confirmed signings for next year, although the club are thought to have lined up a host of new faces, including former New Zealand international Shaun Kenny-Dowall.

Joel has asked the club for a release on compassionate grounds and we have accepted.

“Joel and I have a great relationship and we have thoroughly enjoyed working with each other.

“Everybody at the club would like to wish him all the very best of luck for the future and thank him for his time, efforts and leadership whilst at Rovers.”

– Tony Smith - Head coach
Released on "compassionate grounds" Credit: Press Association