South Sydney junior Jason Clark has announced 2018 will be his last year in Redfern after a decade-long stint at the club.
A Coogee Randwick Wombats junior, it was only fitting that Clark would become the Rabbitoh’s first Toyota Cup captain in 2008, scoring 20 tries in his 47 NYC games.
Since making his NRL debut late in the 2009 season, Clark has amassed 148 NRL games, including the memorable 2014 Grand Final victory over Canterbury.
Despite captaining Souths just last week against Wigan, Clark has revealed that his 10th season in the NRL with the Rabbitohs will be his last.
“I’m signed until the end of the year, but the club told me before last season finished that they wouldn’t have anything for me in 2019. I didn’t see it coming,” Clark said.
“Shane Richardson called me into his office and said, ‘Mate, I don’t want you to take this as a personal thing, it’s just the direction the club’s heading in.'”
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While the former City Origin forward is sure to attract interest from rival NRL clubs, Clark has refused to rule out a move to the English Super League.
“I’ve got to find a new club. If I have to relocate outside of Sydney, to keep playing in the NRL or go to Super League in England, I’ll need to nail something down pretty soon.”
The move comes as a timely reminder that rugby league is first and foremost a business, an adage that Clark has kept forefront in his mind after the news.
“I’ve got full respect for Richo for letting me know upfront. It was better finding out then, rather than with a few rounds to go this season. Rugby league’s a business, but I know Richo and it wouldn’t have been easy for him to deliver that kind of news.”
Clark is expected to line-up on Saturday in Mudgee, in what will become his last Charity Shield with the Rabbitohs, as he looks to impress rival suitors and end his South Sydney career on a high note.