Willie Manu to leave Hull

Hull resigned to losing Manu after forward is given permission to talk to other clubs

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UPDATED:

18:10 GMT, 30 April 2012

Hull have admitted failure in their battle to hold onto second row forward Willie Manu.

The 32-year-old Tonga international, who is out of contract at the end of the season, has been given permission to speak to other clubs after repeatedly turning down offers of a new deal from the Black and Whites.

St Helens and Catalan Dragons are thought to be competing for the signature of Manu, who has been a major success since joining Hull from Castleford in 2007 and is in the Exiles squad for the mid-season internationals against England.

Exit: Hull FC's Willie Manu will leave at the end of the season

Exit: Hull FC's Willie Manu will leave at the end of the season

Hull director of rugby Shaun McRae said: 'We're obviously disappointed that Willie has decided to finish his career away from Hull FC but we wish him well for the future.

'We made Willie a number of large offers that would have made him considerably one of the highest earners at the club but he has decided to look for a contact elsewhere.'

Although Hull were keen to keep Manu, they have a ready-made replacement in England international Gareth Ellis, who has agreed a three-year contract from 2013, and are hoping to tie his second-row partner Danny Tickle to a new deal.