YORK Knights have announced that influential forward Pauli Pauli has departed the club to pursue opportunities elsewhere.

The fan favourite had been contracted to the Knights until the end of the 2024 season, having penned a new two-year deal at the end of 2022.

However, following the conclusion of the 2023 season, he has been heavily linked with a move to beaten Betfred Championship Play-off Finalists Toulouse Olympique.

An unfortunate ACL injury sustained last August limited Pauli to just five appearances from among the interchanges under new head coach Andrew Henderson in 2023.

But despite a 13-month lay-off, his destructive nature showed no signs of waning, his first two carries on his return against Swinton Lions in early September winning the Knights a six-again, and then a penalty.

The former former Parramatta Eels and Newcastle Knights front-rower scored twice in 25 appearances during his stay at the LNER Community Stadium.

With fellow forwards Chris Clarkson and Danny Kirmond both retiring at the end of the 2023 season, Pauli’s departure leaves Henderson with another hole to fill, with Newcastle Thunder back-rower Connor Bailey their only forward acquisition thus far.

York confirmed the fan favourite's departure on X (formerly Twitter), saying: "The Knights can confirm that forward Pauli Pauli has departed York RLFC with immediate effect to pursue new opportunities.

"We would like to thank Pauli for his efforts during his time at York and wish him all the best for the future!"