George Williams leaves Canberra Raiders immediately: Where next?

George WilliamsGeorge Williams
George Williams
George Williams is on the brink of an immediate Super League return after leaving Canberra Raiders.

The NRL outfit released a statement confirming the halfback has been released from his contract "effective immediately."

Williams and his pregnant partner are homesick, but until now Canberra had been insisting they had no intention of releasing a player who they paid Wigan a six-figure transfer fee for at the end of 2019.

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They made a dramatic change of stance today, leaving Williams free to return to the UK and resume his career - with his former club Wigan in the mix to sign him.

Warrington and Leeds have also been monitoring his developments.

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Raiders CEO Don Furner said the decision to release Williams now was in the best interests for all parties, saying his position became "untenable".

“George and his partner have asked on a number of occasions for a release to return to England to be closer to their families and we’ve decided to grant their request,” Furner said. “George withdrew from training today and from the game this weekend which highlighted to the Club the seriousness of George’s request.

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“Over the past several weeks we have supported George and provided him with the best welfare support we could, however as a Club we felt that his position at the club moving forward became untenable.”

Williams, 26, enjoyed a stellar first season in the NRL last year but early into this campaign it emerged he was homesick.

Wigan were automatically linked with the England international for 2022, particularly as Thomas Leuluai may retire at the end of this season and fellow halfback Jackson Hastings is moving back to the NRL with Wests.

The prospect of him joining in mid-season would give Adrian Lam a different headache altogether, given half Harry Smith is also in the mix.