CANBERRA, AUSTRALIA - MARCH 27: George Williams of the Raiders in action during the round three NRL match between the Canberra Raiders and the Warriors at GIO Stadium on March 27, 2021, in Canberra, Australia. (Photo by Mark Nolan/Getty Images)

It has been revealed that the Canberra Raiders never added a clause to George Williams' contract which would allow them first right of negotiation if he decided to return to the NRL.

Williams left the Raiders to head home in the middle of the 2021 season due to homesickness.

The Wigan-born now 28-year-old had joined the green machine during 2020, and played 32 games for the Raiders before departing from Ricky Stuart's squad who were battling at the time.

He has since played for the Warrington Wolves in England, and is approaching 250 top grade appearances, having debuted for the Wigan Warriors in the English Super League during 2013 where he played 176 games.

Most players who have gone overseas or returned to England via an early release have a clause put into the release by their NRL clubs suggesting they would have first right to sign the player should they elect to return to the NRL, however, it has been revealed by The Sydney Morning Herald that this option was never taken for Williams.

The halfback has recently been linked with a move back to the NRL, and it's understood that a number of clubs are interested, although it's not known at this time whether one of those teams are the Raiders.

The men from the nation's capital currently have Jack Wighton and Jamal Fogarty playing in the six and seven, with Foarthy's return from injury about halfway through the 2022 campaign being a big part of the reason Stuart's side were able to sneak into the finals as the Brisbane Broncos suffered a dramatic fadeout.

The Raiders went on to beat the Melbourne Storm away during the first week of the finals, before falling to the Parramatta Eels, however, it was a dramatic turnaround for a club at one stage who appeared as if they were a chance of winding up in the bottom four.

The report regarding Williams suggests that, while he is a chance to return to the NRL, the Raiders failed to put the clause in his contract due to the fact they believed he would never be likely to return to Australia.

John Bateman is another such player set to return to Australia having spent time at the Raiders previously, with the Wests Tigers favourites to secure his signature.