Star man Will Hurrell has left Doncaster Knights to join Premiership-bound Bristol.
The 26-year-old centre had another year left to run on his contract at Castle Park but has moved to Ashton Gate for an undisclosed fee.
Hurrell scooped Knights’ Players’ Player of the Season and Coaches’ Player of the Season award last term, and was also named in the Championship Dream XV. He also excelled in Doncaster’s Championship play-off final defeat to Bristol.
Knights director of rugby Clive Griffiths said he reluctantly allowed Hurrell to leave after talks with the player and negotiations with Bristol chief Andy Robinson.
“We are disappointed to lose Will for next season and it was a very difficult decision to let him go to Bristol,” said Griffiths.
“However, we accept this is a big opportunity to experience life in the Premiership and having spoke to Will it became apparent that he had his heart set on the move which was the determining factor in letting him leave.
“Needless to say Will was a standout performer last season. He attracted offers from several Premiership and Pro 12 Clubs.
“Those initial offers weren’t taken up but on this occasion, following long discussions between me and Andy Robinson, the decision to let Will go for an undisclosed fee was reached.
“Naturally we are very disappointed but wish Will every success and this would apply to any other player who develops with us in a way that means they are given the opportunity to compete in a higher competition.”