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Page last updated at 12:51 GMT, Sunday, 26 December 2010

Shaun Berrigan allowed to leave Hull FC

Shaun Berrigan
Shaun Berrigan made 13 State of Origin appearances for Queensland

Hull FC have agreed to release former Australia international Shaun Berrigan from the final year of his contract.

The 32-year-old hooker was three years into a four-year deal with the club.

But he has now been given permission to return to the NRL, where he is expected to sign for either the Gold Coast Titans or the New Zealand Warriors.

Berrigan's departure means that Hull coach Richard Agar now has a vacancy on his overseas quota at the KC Stadium for the fast-approaching 2011 season.

Hull have been linked with a move for Melbourne Storm scrum-half Cooper Cronk but could not afford him under their current wage structure.

Berrigan made 74 appearances after joining from Brisbane ahead of the 2008 season, winning the club's player of the year award in his debut campaign.

I have loved my time at Hull FC and leave with many happy memories and friendships

Shaun Berrigan

His first season also included an appearance in the Challenge Cup final at Wembley, but the 13-times capped Australian has struggled for form since, having often been forced to play out of position to cover injuries.

Upon returning from his latest shoulder injury last season, Berrigan found himself filling in at centre because of the improved form of young hooker Danny Houghton.

"I have loved my time at Hull FC and leave with many happy memories and friendships," said Berrigan.

"After a tough year personally in terms of injuries and the passing of my father, I want to move closer to my mum and family and I'm looking forward to spending more time with them."

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