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New Zealand Warriors hard man Kevin Campion is going home.
Campion, who was born in Sarina, Queensland, has signed a two-year deal with the North Queensland Cowboys and will leave the Warriors at the end of the 2002 season.
The veteran Queensland State of Origin representative was allowed to negotiate with other National Rugby League clubs by the Warriors this season after the Auckland-based franchise admitted they would struggle to retain Campion and fullback Ivan Cleary due to the salary cap.
Warriors chief executive Mick Watson said the 30-year-old Campion had been instrumental in turning the club into a genuine NRL premiership contender after signing for the Warriors for the 2001 season.
"If you could ever say that one man turned a club around, Kevin would go very close to being that man for us," Watson said.
"He brought in a new work ethic, a working class culture and a toughness to our forward pack that we had never seen before."
Campion signed with the struggling Cowboys yesterday less than 24 hours after one of his most inspirational performances for the Warriors as they beat the Brisbane Broncos 18-4.
He was also involved in a spectacular scrap with former team-mate Shane Webcke.
Campion has also played for Gold Coast, St George, Adelaide and the Broncos