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The Gold Coast Titans have granted a request from English Test centre Kallum Watkins for an immediate release from his NRL contract so that he can return to the United Kingdom for personal reasons.

“Kallum has only been here for a short time, but he is an immensely popular guy in the playing group,” Titans head coach Justin Holbrook said on the club website.

“Every day he exhibited the qualities that the Club wanted from him – namely his leadership and his professionalism.

“I am mostly just bitterly disappointed for Kallum – firstly that he has to endure this awful situation with health concerns with family members, and secondly that he has had to walk away from his dream of proving himself in the NRL.

“He worked incredibly hard in the off-season, and that hard work was evident in the form we saw from him at the start of the season – in the trial against the Broncos, and then our two premiership games against Canberra and Parramatta.

“For him to have to walk away now just as he was getting back to his best is devastating for him, and for us as his friends.

“But family always comes first, and we would never stand in Kallum’s way of doing what is best for his family in a very difficult time.

“He leaves the Titans with our thanks and best wishes, for him and his family.”