Canberra Raiders prop Dane Tilse will depart the club after round seven this season, to take up a two-and-a-half year deal with Hull KR in the English Super League.
Tilse will have the opportunity to be selected for his 200th Raiders match next weekend against the Melbourne Storm at home and will line up in his 199th match against Manly this weekend when the team travel to Albury to take on the Sea Eagles.
Contracted until the end of the 2016 season with the Raiders, Tilse said the decision to ask for an early release was based on an opportunity presented by Hull KR after the retirement through injury of former Raider Michael Weyman.
“Playing in England was always something I wanted to do towards the end of my career and the opportunity came early when Hull approached me to join their team after Mick Weyman retired a few weeks ago due to injury,” Tilse said. “It’s a new challenge for me to go over there and it’s one I’m really looking forward to.
“Everybody I’ve spoken to has had good things to say about Rovers and it sounds like a club on the way up,” he said. “I’ve had a brief chat to Josh Hodgson and he spoke very highly of the club, as did Mick Weyman’s dad. I played with Mick at Canberra and his old man said how much he’d enjoyed it over there.
Tilse thanked the Raiders for the opportunity they’d given him to have a wonderful NRL career and for allowing him to leave his current contract early to move to Hull KR.
“The Raiders and Canberra has been my home for almost ten years and I want to take the opportunity to thank them for everything they’ve done for me during my time at the club,” Tilse said. “They’ve also allowed me to leave my current contract and give me the chance to continue my career in England. They’ve been great through this whole process and I thank them for it.
“I’d love to have the opportunity to play my 200th match for the club before I leave and thank all of the loyal Raiders fans for all of their support over the years as well. The Raiders are a great club with great supporters and I know they’ve got a bright future ahead under Ricky Stuart.”
Raiders CEO Don Furner said Tilse had always given 100 per cent whenever he took the field for the Raiders and wished him all the best for the future.
“Dane has been one of our most consistent players over a number of years and he’ll be remembered as a tough competitor who always gave his best for the club,” Furner said. “We are happy Dane has the opportunity to have a fitting farewell from the club and we wish him all the best for his future at Hull KR.
“Dane, like his father Mick (who played for the Raiders) will always be part of the family and always welcome back here.”