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O'Donnell Roosters move imminent
Ian Laybourn
21:26 AEST Wed Feb 13 2013

Luke O'Donnell's move to NRL club Sydney Roosters appears all but finalised after UK Super League side Huddersfield granted the Australian forward a release.

The 32-year-old former NSW Origin and Test enforcer had another 12 months left on his initial three-year contract with the Giants but reached a mutual agreement with the English club to be released.

He will return home this weekend and is expected to link up with the Roosters.

O'Donnell made just 23 appearances in his first two injury-hit seasons in the Super League but made an impressive return in Huddersfield's opening 40-4 win at St Helens 11 days ago.

However, he missed their win over London Broncos on Sunday amid reports his wife had become homesick and he had become unhappy over the tightening of tax regulations.

Huddersfield initially wanted Daniel Mortimer in exchange for O'Donnell but Roosters officials declined.

Giants managing director Richard Thewlis confirmed on Wednesday O'Donnell had sought and been granted a release with no strings attached.

"Firstly I would say that deep down neither Luke nor the club wanted this outcome to be how things panned out," said Thewlis.

"However, the reality is that Luke is financially in a different place now to that envisaged when he joined at the start of the 2011 season.

"The changing regulations in respect of offshore pensions have caused him significant difficulties but fortunately for him an opportunity has arisen back home which will help him going forward.

"We do not wish to stand in the way of a longer term opportunity for him as next year's Giants contract was an option we held and we would have wanted to see a long consistent run of appearances before we would commit to the fourth year.

"In a nutshell he understands where we are coming from, we understand his frustrations and we have simply shaken hands, wished each other all the very best and we each move on.

"There have been no deals done in respect of Luke's playing registration and he is free to choose his next destination back home."

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