Hooker Heremaia to leave at season’s end

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Hull FC have announced they will not be renewing the contract of hooker Aaron Heremaia beyond the current season.

The 31-year-old former New Zealand international has spent the last three years as understudy to Hull vice-captain Danny Houghton and the club are keen to hand that role to home-grown hooker James Cunningham, who is currently on a season-long loan at London Broncos.

Hull football manager Motu Tony said: “Aaron has given us great service over the last couple of years but we must now focus on other areas of priority for the team.

“Danny and James can develop a strong partnership in that role from next season, which means we can utilise a good amount of salary cap to secure the additions of some big signings we’re looking to get completed for 2015.

“There are areas of our team that need significant improvement and this gives us the opportunity to do that and make a purposeful move for the targets we have identified and want to bring to the club.”

Heremaia, who has made 56 appearances since 2012, is being linked with a move to Widnes.

Organisers have decided to open the upper tier of the Etihad Stadium’s East Stand for the opening day of the Magic Weekend following high demand for tickets.

A further 2,500 tickets went on sale on yesterday for the First Utility Super League programme on Saturday, May 17, which culminates in the clash between leaders Leeds Rhinos and reigning champions Wigan Warriors.

Scotland coach Steve McCormack is back in club rugby after being appointed by the University of Gloucestershire All Golds, who compete in Championship One.

McCormack, in charge of Scotland for 10 years, joins the Cheltenham-based club until the end of the season.