Matt Orford
Release with two years left

David Furner says the Canberra Raiders can’t be held accountable for Matt Orford’s wretched year and premature exit from the club.

The Raiders yesterday confirmed the 2008 Dally M medallist wouldn’t be at the club next year despite having two seasons to run on his contract. The Raiders and Orford’s management are negotiating a final settlement before granting a release. It’s unclear if the 33-year-old will retire or look for another club.

However, given he managed just six games with the Raiders and hasn’t played since May, it’s unlikely any of the remaining 15 NRL clubs would throw Orford a lifeline.

Raiders coach Furner denied the club should have done more research into his medical history before offering a two-year contract with an option for a third in the veteran halfback’s favour.

”No, the injury he sustained and had the operation on was done in the pre-season,” Furner said. ”We knew [about the knee], but it wasn’t the problem. Matty would’ve been disappointed that he couldn’t show what he’s capable of, and that was due to the injury at the start of the year during pre-season.”

Read more at the Canberra Times