St George-Illawarra Dragons forward Mike Cooper.

Cooper to leave Dragons at season's end

The St George Illawarra Dragons have agreed to a release request from Mike Cooper that will see him depart the club at the end of the 2016 season.

Cooper's current playing contract was until the end of the 2017 season but he has requested the early release on compassionate grounds to enable his family to return home to the United Kingdom.

The England international will return to his local club the Warrington Wolves in the UK Super League.

"It was a hard decision to make but both my partner and I have decided that is what is best for our young family is to return home at the end of the year," Cooper said.

"It's not a decision that we have both taken lightly and we both spent a lot of time thinking about what was best moving forward for the three of us.

"We will have been here three seasons come the end of the year and that is a long time to be away from family and friends, especially when you have a young child.

"Paul McGregor was a bit shocked and disappointed but I can't credit him enough as he respects the decision and understands the reasons completely.

"He has brought me on in leaps and bounds as a player and I owe a lot to him and his staff."

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