Mike Cooper leaving Warrington Wolves to join St George Illawarra Dragons
Last Updated: April 30, 2013 9:32am
Mike Cooper: Two years in NRL before returning to Warrington
Warrington forward Mike Cooper will leave the club at the end of the Super League season to join the St George Illawarra Dragons.
The 24-year-old was under contract with the Wolves until the end of the 2014 campaign, but the club have agreed to release him early as part of a four-year agreement with the NRL side.
Cooper, a product of the Warrington academy, has signed a two-year deal with the Dragons and he will then return to the Wolves in 2016 for two years.
"The next step for me is to test myself in Australia and gain some experience. I'm fully aware it's going to be big learning curve for me; I'll be back at square one again really but it's something that really excites me."
"It's something I've always wanted to do since the age of 16," said Cooper, who has made 117 appearances for Warrington since making his senior debut in 2006.
"Being a Warrington lad I'm very proud to have been a part of what the club has achieved over the last couple seasons with the recent success in the Challenge Cup and in reaching the Grand Final.
"The next step for me is to test myself in Australia and gain some experience. I'm fully aware it's going to be big learning curve for me; I'll be back at square one again really but it's something that really excites me.
"I'm 100 per cent focused on this season with Warrington and the ambition is to win all three trophies this year with this club.
"My focus is purely on the Super League and Warrington come the end of the season is when I'll start to concentrate on what's happening in Australia."
Wolves head of coaching and rugby Tony Smith added: "I'm pleased for Mike and we are pleased as a club to support him in his desires to add to his career tuition.
"We are happy to assist him in developing himself as a player and we hope this opportunity will be of benefit to both Mike and this club at some stage in the future."