SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA - MAY 13: Gareth Widdop of the Dragons looks on during the round 10 NRL match between the South Sydney Rabbitohs and the St George Illawarra Dragons at ANZ Stadium on May 13, 2018 in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Brendon Thorne/Getty Images)

St George Illawarra Dragons skipper Gareth Widdop it set to depart the club at the end of the season to finish his career in England, according to NRL.com.

The English star told Dragons officials of his desire to return home and play in the Super League while he is still at the top of his game and due to homesickness, despite still having three years to run on his contract.

The 30-year old, who is recovering from shoulder surgery, is expected to be released from his deal at the end of next season and move to England for the 2020 campaign.

The decision reportedly caught Dragons officials off guard and has thrown off the club’s pre-season preparation and put a void in their playmaking position.

It is understood that several Super League clubs are watching the situation with interest, including Huddersfield.

Widdop has made 185 NRL appearances for the Red V and Melbourne Storm after making his debut in the league in 20210, but has previously stated while representing England that it would be a “fairy tale to end my career here”.

26 COMMENTS

  1. Well that will do me. He’s homesick? But Widdop has been here since he was 16 years old!

    “The decision reportedly caught Dragons officials off guard”

    I bet it bl00dy did! Now how do they fill this hole fast? Enter Shaun Johnson. Just a tip.

    Seriously though, does a contract actually mean anything anymore? The NRL have fallen asleep at the wheel yet again if they allow this rubbish to continue. After the Super League war, this off-season as been the most destabilising for the game in it’s 110 year history! If the NRL don’t fix this soon that’s what the game will become… history!

    • 100% Agree – It is a disgrace.

      I am absolutely sick to death of all these players & coaches breaking long terms contracts with ZERO consequences???? McGuire, Holmes, Klemmer, Napa, Widdop, Johnson, Merrin……………

      There needs to be serious punishment to the players & clubs that ultimately benefit from this!!!

      • “ZERO consequences”

        An alternate name for this site perhaps if it was run without any moderation? 😂😂😂😂

        • You don’t have to frequent this site, you know. Who uses a website to their infinite desire & then whinges about it incessantly. There are options, Reg.

    • Wayne Bennett, Anthony Seibold, Ivan Cleary…

      Note: Bennett trying to honour a contract but this time the club is trying to cut it short. Just ask “Barney Rubble” (aka Anthony Griffin).

      Contract are now only good to use as kindling to start fires. A fire that will burn the NRL to the ground.

    • Two clubs and one player lose in that game of musical chairs. I’ll leave that for people who aren’t in an asylum to choose which is which.

  2. This is another great piece of news for Shaun Johnson. I think his value just went up further. With another club looking for a decent half/ 5/8th., whats he worth now?

  3. Oh No!!

    more pressure on Ben Hunt to perform
    Do I hear chooookkkeeee!!!!!!!!

    And where does that leave Kurt Mann now?

    • Ignoring the bait, that is a good point on Kurt Mann.

      The saving grace is that Widdop is leaving at the end of 2019.

      Or is he?????

      • Or is he????? indeed. No one can keep up with the musical chairs and shell and pea game that the NRL has become. I don’t see Mann as a serious option for the Dragons in the halves in any case. I would have thought that Shaun Johnson was the Dragons best bet but if it is true that he is only interested in signing for ONE season and has a contract elsewhere ready for 2020 then he isn’t worth it IMO.

        Warrirors fans, just HOW did your club allow BOTH Shaun Johnson AND Mason Lino to leave at the same time just ONE year after losing Ata Hingano? Blake Green will have his work cut out for him in 2019 unless he is getting cold feet too?

        How will the Warriors have ANY hope in 2019 without a decent halves pairing to steer the team around? It will be like a ship without a rudder. Btw, my advice would be to steer well clear of either Corey Norman or Mitchell Moses! Much better to play a man short than have those two clown crash your ship on the rocks! Just ask the Eels who are looking to offload them.

        • I agree about Norman and Moses but I feel we will end up in the beggars barrel.
          Millward has done a pretty good job but he scares me with attempts at Hayne etc

        • I wouldn’t feed Norman or Moses, oxygen thieves both of them.
          If Widdop leaves before 2019 I suppose Johnson is the best option out there. I haven’t seen much at all of Saints’ lower grades, so not sure if there’s a 1/2 or 5/8 waiting in the wings. I’ve seen Wendell’s young bloke play in the halves but he doesn’t look ready or even good enough for 1st grade yet. I know Johnson is a goalkicker but Lomax is a ready-made replacement in that area. Mann in the halves doesn’t impress me either. He”s clearly got talent but is a bit of an enigma and has a mistake or 3 in him.

  4. I think the Panthers hopes just rose for the next few years. Although Cleary may have cost a lot. They have Cleary with Maloney. Then add the exciting Luai to partner Cleary , after Maloney.. With the back up of May who can play several positions.

  5. No, no, no! The most overrated layer in the history of the club and possibly the game. Been a disaster for the Dragons! Made finals twice for one finals win in his time and both of those years he was injured for a large part of the season.

  6. Homesick? HOMESICK? You’ve bloody well lived in Australia as long as you have in England, and NOW you get homesick??? “Joke of the day”, as my Maths teacher says. Let’s release all Pommies from their contracts so they can go back home. At least it is at the end of the season, and not immediate…

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