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Pete White has played his last game in blue and white, with Coventry Rugby having agreed to release him from his contract with immediate effect to move to Hong Kong with his family.

The 29-year-old scrum-half has been a firm fans’ favourite since arriving from Bedford Blues in 2016, and by the end of the 2021 season had played 97 times for the first team.

He had been in the middle of a two-year contract with the club, but Director of Rugby Rowland Winter did not want to stand in White’s way for what will be a significant move for him and his family.

“Pete has a rare offer to work and play in Hong Kong, and he leaves with our best wishes,” Winter commented. “Of course we will miss him – Pete has been a significant player in the last five seasons for us, both in his contributions on the field and in how he became a senior player within the squad.

“But we do not want to stand in someone’s way when they have an opportunity like this, and he will always be welcome back at Butts Park at any point in the future.”

White says that he will always have fond memories of his time as a Coventry player.

“The opportunity came up to go out there, and as a family we’ve always wanted to work abroad and for to play abroad,” he said. “I ended up speaking to a couple of people about it and they said it was a good place to live and play rugby, and that we’d have an amazing time.

“Having another year on my contract did make me think, but I also then thought about my age and that if I left it for another year then it might be too late.

“I’m fully grateful to Rowland and the club for their support throughout my time at Coventry, and has provided me with an enjoyable place to be for the past five years. He gave me that opportunity to play in the Championship again and now to pursue my life ambitions.

“My main memory to take will be winning the league to get promoted to the Championship, where ultimately Cov belongs. I’d like to thank the supporters for getting behind me personally and the team throughout my time at Butts Park.”

Coventry Rugby has also confirmed the other summer departures from Butts Park.

As well as White and the retiring Ben Nutley, Alex Woolford, Dan Lewis, Alex Gibson, Kailus Hutchinson, Sam McNulty, Andy Bulumakau and Joe Buckle have also played their final games in blue and white.

Meanwhile Harry Charter, Archie Strath, Louis Beer and Morgan Dayes have all left the club’s Academy system.

“Everyone makes a contribution to the squad, whether it is in training, preparation or on match day, and on behalf of everyone at the club I’d like to thank all of these players for their efforts,” Winter added.