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The Melbourne Storm have confirmed star centre Greg Inglis has joined the Brisbane Broncos on a two-year deal.
Inglis' future has been the centre of much speculation since the Storm's salary-cap cheating was revealed by the NRL in late April, with the discussion intensifying in the past month when it emerged that he was open to a move to Queensland because his fiancee now lives in Brisbane.
Melbourne chief executive Ron Gauci insisted the club could have kept Inglis and stayed 'cap compliant' for 2011, but the player's preference to move north was pivotal.
His departure will also help the club keep several players who would have been forced out of the club next year.
"I'm not sure I'd call it slipping through our fingers," Gauci said when it was put to him the club had let one of the game's greats depart.
"You don't make a decision to let a player like Greg Inglis go too lightly.
"If you look at the on-field balance - and what Greg wanted for his own personal reasons - it made sense to release Greg.
"We would have had to release some perfectly good players (from 2011 onwards) to have Greg stay."
Broncos chief executive Bruno Cullen hailed Inglis' acquisition as a significant moment in the club's history.
It came about after weeks of on-again, off-again negotiations, Brisbane eventually increasing their offer under money available to marquee signings.
"It's been long - it has been close to five weeks," Cullen said of the negotiation process.
"The last two or three weeks we haven't been very involved but it has dragged along because of the special circumstances surrounding the Melbourne Storm.
"Our offer with regard to the salary cap and the cap limit has not changed by one dollar.
"But the scenery around the cap has changed dramatically in the last little while.
"He's a quality player, no doubt, and we're delighted to have him."
Prop Brett White also left Melbourne today to join Canberra.
"I'm looking forward to joining the Raiders. They're a young group with plenty of upside and potential and I'm sure it's going to be an exciting few years ahead," he said.
"It's taken a while to come to a decision and it certainly wasn't an easy one to make. But I felt this decision was the right thing for all parties."
Raiders coach David Furner said: "It's a great signing for the club.
"Brett is an experienced player who has played in grand finals and State of Origin and he's also a Cooma native so we're excited to secure him for three years."