The Gold Coast Titans have made a surprise move by releasing both Albert Kelly and Maurice Blair from their contracts with the club.
The pair have signed 2-year deals with Hull KR in the European Super League after the English club parted ways with former NRL players Travis Burns and Kris Keating.
Injuries have restricted Kelly and Blair to just 10 and 15 games respectively in 2014 and with a number of play making options at the club, the two close friends have an opportunity to experience life in the European Super League and a better chance at playing regular first grade.
“They were given a rare opportunity to play together as halves by Hull KR who were looking to fill their half back and five-eighth positions and they get the security of two-year deals,” Titans head coach Neil Henry told the club’s website.
“We feel we have good depth in the halves here so we agreed to allow Albert to take this opportunity in the Super League, and at 30 Maurice has the chance to extend his career which we are also happy to accommodate. We wish them both great success over there.
“It also gives us more flexibility in our salary cap management and provides the opportunity to go into the market should suitable players become available.
“The Holden Cup player of the year, halfback Kane Elgey, has been handed an opportunity with an NRL contract and Christian Hazard, who’s only 19, showed great promise in his first season with the club in under-20s, although he missed several games with injury.
“And 20-year-old Jamal Fogarty, like Kane an Australian Schoolboy representative, showed his potential for Tweed Seagulls this year. We also have Aidan Sezer and Daniel Mortimer, so we have five players vying for two positions in the halves.”