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The St George Illawarra Dragons have today announced that England International Gareth Widdop has agreed to a four-year contract that will see him join the Club from next season until at least the end of the 2017 season.
Widdop, 24, who has played half, fullback and centre for his club and country agreed to terms after consultation with his family and a visit to the Dragons region.
Hailing from Halifax in the west Yorkshire region of England, Widdop began his rugby league career with junior club Kingscross before relocating to Melbourne with his family aged 16.
In Australia Widdop began his rugby league career with the Altona Roosters and progressed through the Melbourne Storm program.
In 2009 Widdop was named the Storms NYC Player of the year in their Premiership winning team and was also named in the NYC competitions “Team of the Year”.
Widdop made his NRL debut in 2010 and made three appearances that season. In 2011 Widdop became a regular member of the successful Storm team and has missed just one game over the past two seasons, capturing a Premiership and World Club Challenge along the way.
Melbourne Storm Press Release:
Widdop was offered a four-year deal to remain with the club where he debuted and has gone on to play 60 first-grade games.
GM Football Frank Ponissi confirmed the Melbourne Storm offer had been declined and the Dragons offer had been accepted.
“After lengthy negotiations with Gareth and his management, we tabled a very good four-year deal which we felt was in-line with Gareth’s current market value,” Ponissi said.
“Whilst naturally disappointed, we know Gareth will be committed to the club and the team for the remainder of the season before leaving at the end of the season to join the Dragons.