EDDY Pettybourne has played his last game for Wigan Warriors.
The club has made the shock announcement that the prop has been released from his contract for personal reasons.
He leaves with immediate effect, halfway through his two-year deal.
Pettybourne said: “I have enjoyed my time here but sometimes things happen outside your control and this means I have to head back home.”
Pettybourne made 18 appearances for Wigan last season, including playing in the World Club Challenge and Grand Final defeats.
He has left Wigan’s Florida pre-season training camp to return to Australia.
The Warriors have not elaborated on his reasons for exit, but rugby general manager Kris Radlinski said: “Things have happened pretty quickly, and escalated since we flew to Florida for our training camp.
“Being away allowed us to have some deep conversations and in the circumstances it is clearly best for Eddy to cut short his stay and return home to Australia.”
Pettybourne is now expected to sign for an NRL club.
His exit will free up cash under the salary cap, but Wigan are well covered for props, following the signing of Larne Patrick, Taulima Tautai and Lee Mossop, as well as the return of James Greenwood from a loan spell at London.
Front-rower Gil Dudson has been strongly linked with a move away, but this latest development throws fresh intrigue over his position.
Head coach Shaun Wane said: “I will always hold Eddy in high regard. Not only has he been a great asset to us on the field but a great bloke off it. He has fitted really well into the Wigan way and I personally am very sorry to see him leave but totally understand his reasons for doing so. We are a strong family orientated club and will support Eddy in the future. I wish him the best of luck.”