Hull KR captain Ben Galea set to sign deal with Hull FC
HULL KR captain Ben Galea is set to cross the river and sign a deal with bitter rivals Hull FC for next season, the Mail understands.
It comes as the 34-year-old Aussie last night revealed he had decided against retiring from the sport, on the eve of his final game for the Robins at London Broncos today.
Galea, who has spent five seasons at Craven Park and been a hero to the Robins fans, failed to agree terms on a new Rovers deal for 2013, with talks breaking down in July.
As a result, both the club and player agreed to part ways at the end of the season, despite both parties saying they had been keen to strike a deal.
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The former NRL Grand Final winner then chose to announce his retirement from the sport, and made an emotional farewell home appearance last week, scoring a try in the Robins' 42-36 loss to Wigan Warriors.
But last night, Galea sent the rumour mill into overdrive over his future when taking to Twitter to say he'd had a change of heart over calling time on his playing career.
"Before tomorrow's game, I would like to let everyone know that I have decided not to retire," Galea revealed in his first tweet.
He added: "I will reveal more about my plans in due time. Unfortunately, I won't be at Hull KR."
The news quickly spread amongst rugby fans on the social networking site, and sources from within the game told the Mail it is Hull FC who have made Galea an offer he feels he can't refuse to prolong his glittering career.
Galea and Hull coach Peter Gentle are close friends from their days in the NRL with Wests Tigers, where Galea served as a player and won a Grand Final, and Gentle was assistant coach.
The pair's friendship dates back years and continued this season following Gentle's appointment as head coach at the Black and Whites, despite the fierce rivalry across the city.
If the move does go ahead, it could throw a further question mark over the future of Danny Tickle at the KC stadium, with Widnes having already made one offer to buy him out of his deal. The move eventually collapsed because they could not agree a suitable fee with Hull.
It will also see FC line up in 2013 with three players in their squad who started the current season at KR.
Full-back Shannon McDonnell is expected to sign for the Black and Whites, despite supposed offers from NRL clubs.
He and Galea will follow prop Liam Watts across the city after he was sold by Rovers earlier this season after asking for permission to leave the club despite having another year remaining on his deal.
Hull also continue to be linked with a move for England Knights' prop Scott Taylor, although the Mail understands Rovers will not let him leave his deal a year early to cross the city.