Canberra halfback George Williams has responded to his surprise axing from the club on Tuesday, declaring he 'was kicked out the door' and hadn't even yet signed release papers.
Fox Sports reported earlier that a text message from Williams to the club's welfare manager on Tuesday morning triggered his release.
According to the report, the homesick Englishman informed the club that he would not be attending the regulation training session or play in this weekend's game against the Roosters due to mental wellbeing concerns, which caused coach Ricky Stuart and CEO Don Furner to fastrack his long-desired release.
But Williams took to social media to give his version of the events, labelling the Fox Sports report as false and explaining that he "requested a release weeks ago for the end of the season".
"FALSE. I text to explain my mental well-being to the welfare manager? I asked for a release weeks ago for the end of the season... Not once did I ask for a immediate release but Instead of supporting me the club kicked me out the door. Plus I’ve not even signed the release🤔" he tweeted.
FALSE. I text to explain my mental well-being to the welfare manager? I asked for a release weeks ago for the end of the season... Not once did I ask for a immediate release but Instead of supporting me the club kicked me out the door.
Plus I’ve not even signed the release 🤔 https://t.co/CeXBFkXWsA
— George Williams (@George7Williams) May 25, 2021
George Williams responds to the Raiders' release, claiming the club "kicked me out the door".
— Fox League (@FOXNRL) May 25, 2021
The Raiders released a statement on Tuesday afternoon, confirming Williams and his management had requested the release on compassionate grounds for the end of the season.
The club announced that the best intentions for both parties would be to approve the release but that the decision would be taken with immediate effect.
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Speaking via the club's statement, Canberra CEO Don Furner revealed the news of Williams' shock departure.
“George and his partner have asked on a number of occasions for a release to return to England to be closer to their families and we’ve decided to grant their request,” Furner said.
“George withdrew from training today and from the game this weekend which highlighted to the Club the seriousness of George’s request.
“Over the past several weeks we have supported George and provided him with the best welfare support we could, however as a Club we felt that his position at the club moving forward became untenable.”
Williams played 31 games for the Raiders since defecting from English Super League side Wigan Warriors and is now expected to return home to the UK.