NRL Rd 10  - Sea Eagles v Eels
SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA - JULY 18: Cade Cust of the Sea Eagles is tackled by Brad Takairangi of the Eels during the round 10 NRL match between the Manly Sea Eagles and the Parramatta Eels at Lottoland on July 18, 2020 in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Jason McCawley/Getty Images)

The Manly Sea Eagles have granted versatile playmaker Cade Cust a release from his contract to sign with Super League giants Wigan ahead of the 2022 season.

While Cust still had a year to run on his deal at Brookvale, the 23-year-old has opted for a geographic shift to earn more playing time.

The Scone-born Sea Eagle had lined-up for Des Hasler's side on 27 occasions since making his debut in Round 10, 2019, but given Manly's strength in the halves, finding an opening between Daly Cherry-Evans and Kieran Foran had proven a tough task.

The New South Welshman will now trade 4 Pines Park for the DW Stadium for the next two-seasons, with an option for a third also on the table.

Per their official statement released on Friday night, Manly also hold the rights to re-sign Cust should he decide to make an NRL return at any stage.

With fellow halfback Jackson Hastings making the move back to the NRL following a pair of years in Cherry and White, Cust will now be tasked with leading the 22-time champions around the park.

Speaking in the wake of the agreement, Wigan executive director Kris Radlinski claimed that the club had done their homework on the Indigenous All Stars representative.

“We have been working on his deal for a few weeks now. Once Matt Peet, Shaun Wane and I had spoken to Cade, we were all confident that he was a great fit for Wigan," he told wiganwarriors.com.

“We contacted people whose opinion we trust in Australia including Trent Barrett and Blake Green who both gave positive appraisals of Cade. Our aim now is to get him to the UK as soon as possible to link up with his new teammates. We expect this to be before Christmas.

“We would like to thank the Manly Sea Eagles Club for releasing Cade from his contract and we promise to look after one of their own.”

Cust himself was overjoyed with the decision and wished to express gratitude for his ability to commence a new chapter with the Greater Manchester club.

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"I'm extremely grateful for this opportunity and I am really looking forward to what the next few years will bring," he said.

"I can't wait to get to work and play at such a prestigious club like Wigan."

Although silverware had eluded Cust during his first-grade tenure on the northern beaches, the rising star will be remembered fondly for the strong hand he played in delivering the 2017 Holden Cup to Pittwater Road.