SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA - JUNE 11: Gareth Widdop of the Dragons looks dejected during the round 14 NRL match between the Canterbury Bulldogs and the St George Illawarra Dragons at ANZ Stadium on June 11, 2018 in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Mark Kolbe/Getty Images)

Englishman Gareth Widdop is receiving interest from the Canberra Raiders to replace George Williams in the 2022 season.

Williams was released by the Raiders earlier this month after battling some mental wellbeing issues off-ield.

The Sydney Morning Herald reports that the Canberra Raiders have confirmed their interest in the former Dragons five-eighth, although the Raiders have not yet offered a formal contract to Widdop.

Widdop's manager is seeking around $500,000 a season from the Raiders according to reports, but has recently flagged he would be prepared to take a pay cut in order to make his return to Australia.

TOOWOOMBA, AUSTRALIA - MARCH 25: Gareth Widdop of the Dragons passes the ball during the round three NRL match between the Gold Coast Titans and the St George Illawarra Dragons at Clive Berghofer Stadium on March 25, 2018 in Toowoomba, Australia. (Photo by Bradley Kanaris/Getty Images)

Another club has also shown interest, with Widdop also being linked to the New Zealand Warriors.

An offer from the Raiders or Warriors would provide Widdop an NRL lifeline. After 10 years in the NRL, he returned to England in 2019.

He has recently been playing for the Warrington Wolves in the Super League and this interest comes off the back of impressive play from Widdop for the Wolves.

After staring for the Warrington, he was able to reclaim a position on the England team. He was absent from the initial squad.

CANBERRA, AUSTRALIA - MARCH 27: George Williams of the Raiders in action during the round three NRL match between the Canberra Raiders and the Warriors at GIO Stadium on March 27, 2021, in Canberra, Australia. (Photo by Mark Nolan/Getty Images)

Steve Price has praised Widdop for his most recent form, stating he is one of the super leagues premier players this year.

"I'm really pleased for Gaz," Price said, per Sky Sports.

"I feel he's been the form player in the competition and will be a great asset to England.

"At the moment it's a reflection of what he did in pre-season. He's in a good place and playing terrific."

SEE ALSO: Dragons playmaker unwanted for next season 

After the loss of Williams, the Raiders have also backed out of the race for Shaun Johnson's contract. This leaves them with a few vacancies for the upcoming season.

A Widdop signing would help the Raiders bolster their roster for the 2022 campaign.

If he is able to provide the same impact that he is currently having in the Super League, it could help Canberra move back up the ladder next season.


  1. Gareth Widdop would be great for the Raiders or Warriors provided he can adjust to the speed of the NRL Competition. He was a standout player with the Dragons and it’s obvious they haven’t been able to find a suitable replacement yet.

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