Saints have allowed second-rower Joe Greenwood to join the NRL, signing for the Gold Coast Titans.
The 23-year-old is touted as one of Super League’s hottest talents, with a number of NRL clubs interested in securing his talents.
Greenwood has agreed a deal after originally joining the Saints from Saddleworth Rangers in 2011.
Cunningham added: “We wouldn’t want to stand in the way of any player wishing to ply their trade elsewhere and Joe has been given a good opportunity at the Gold Coast.
“It’s always difficult to lose a homegrown player and personally I will be sad to see him leave. I’ve worked hard with Joe to develop his game and help him grow as a person – and he has done just that.
“Hopefully, one day after a successful NRL career, he will pull on the Red V again.”
Joe played 77 times for the Saints after making his debut against his hometown Oldham in 2012.
In exchange, Saints will have the services of 32-year-old Zeb Taia until the end of the 2019 season.
Experienced in the NRL, Super League and on the International stage, he is versatile and will add leadership to Keiron Cunningham’s side.
Born in Auburn in New South Wales, Taia played junior for Enfield Federals and St Clair Comets before being picked up by the Parramatta Eels.
He then moved to Newcastle Knights in 2007; a club he stayed with until he signed for Catalans Dragons in 2012.
Zeb was a standout performer in Perpignan and after being named in the Super League Dream Team in 2015 opted to return to NRL with the Gold Coast Titans.
All in all, the 32-year-old has played more than 210 first grade games – including five at International level.
He captained the Cook Islands in the 2013 Rugby League World Cup and also appeared at Test level for New Zealand.
Saints head coach Keiron Cunningham said: “We’re delighted to have signed a player of Zeb’s calibre and he will bolster our squad immediately. He is powerful, possesses a great offload and like our other signings this season, will bring big game experience to the Saints.”
As a result of the move, Saints have allowed second rower Joe Greenwood to take up a contract in the NRL with the Gold Coast Titans.