Saints’ Samoan international forward Sia Soliola is to quit Super League at the end of the season.
The 27-year-old centre or second rower, who made his 94th appearance for the First Utility Super League leaders in their 30-28 win at Castleford on Friday night, is to take his family back to Australia and has begun the search for a new club.
“Sia has made a decision that he’s going to go home at the end of this year, which is unfortunate for us,” St Helens coach Nathan Brown said.
“We’ve known for a little while now. It’s a big loss for us as a club but we’re really happy for Sia. He loves it here but it’s a family move.”
Soliola made 92 appearances for Sydney Roosters before coming to Super League in 2010 and Brown says he will not struggle to find a new club in the NRL.
“I suggest all the clubs back home in Australia will be watching him,” Brown added.
“I’ve already had two or three phone calls.
“He’s some player is Sia and he’ll be sensational for someone in Australia.
“They tell me there is a lack of quality in the market in Australia and Sia’s got plenty of quality. I’m sure he will do well.
“I thought he was sensational against Castleford.
“He’s a good player for us and he’s only 27 so he’s got another four or five years back home.”
The 6ft 3in Soliola won 11 caps with New Zealand from 2006-09 before switching his allegiance to Samoa, whom he captained in the 2013 World Cup.
He also made four appearances for the Exiles in mid-season matches against England during his spell in Super League.