'I can understand George Williams struggling': Adrian Morley can empathise with homesick star

English warhorse Adrian Morley believes fans should be sympathetic to George Williams wanting to come home.
George WilliamsGeorge Williams
George Williams

The ex-Wigan halfback was yesterday released with immediate effect from Canberra Raiders, with 18 months to run on his deal.

Williams himself says he intended to finish the season. Either way, some fans and commentators in Australia have questioned why the homesick star isn't seeing out the rest of his NRL contract. Raiders legend Gary Belcher said: "I understand you are homesick George, but you have signed a contract. You are going to leave your club in the lurch."

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But Morley, Britain's most-capped player, understands. He was a sensation during six years in the NRL with the Sydney Roosters but when partner Clare fell pregnant, returned to the UK and he finished his career back in Super League with Warrington and then Salford.

Adrian Morley is a brand ambassador for Wigan firm OptimumAdrian Morley is a brand ambassador for Wigan firm Optimum
Adrian Morley is a brand ambassador for Wigan firm Optimum

"I was fortunate that people could come and visit me and I could go home, but with Covid, that's been taken away - so I can understand George struggling," said Morley, a brand ambassador for Wigan sportswear firm Optimum.

"Canberra is a bit out the way, there are no beaches - I had a beach at the end of my road and was in Sydney, a fantastic place to live, but you'd be amazed how much it does have an impact not having your family and friends around.

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"It's only when you experience not living near your family and your friends it starts to hit home. I don't know the full story about what's happened with George but I can empathise, absolutely, it would be terrible."

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He said Williams had "done the British game proud" with his performances for the Raiders, coached by Morley's ex-Roosters boss Ricky Stuart.

Many of Williams' former Wigan team-mates have shown their support on social media, including Oliver Gildart, Ben Flower, Zak Hardaker and Dan Sarginson.

Canberra have not responded