Michael McIlorum and Anthony Gelling released by Wigan Warriors
Last Updated: 02/01/18 5:43pm
Michael McIlorum and Anthony Gelling have been granted early release from their contracts by Wigan Warriors.
Ireland international McIlroum has signed a two-year contract with Catalans Dragons while Gelling is returning to New Zealand to be closer to his family.
McIlroum made 242 appearances for Wigan and celebrated his testimonial year in 2017 but has fallen down the pecking order at hooker.
"Following his performance at the Rugby League World Cup several clubs expressed interest in Michael and we agreed that at this stage of his career it was right to allow him to explore his options," said Wigan chairman Ian Lenagan.
Micky is a player who I hold close to my heart, I’ve known him for a long time and I’ve enjoyed watching him develop as both a player and a man over many years.
"Several teams have put forward very favourable offers to Michael and we felt it right not to stand in his way.
"With Sam Powell and Thomas Leuluai both fine hookers and the encouraging performances of Josh Ganson last season we believe the time has come for Michael to move on and for Wigan to look to the future."
McIlorum added: "After speaking with Ian [Lenagan] it was made clear my future was elsewhere and with interest from a couple of clubs it was agreed now was the best time to part company.
"I would like to thank Ian and Kris [Radlinski] for making my time at Wigan successful and enjoyable."
Centre Gelling joined Wigan in 2012 and scored 52 tries in 115 appearances, winning a Super League Grand Final and the World Club Challenge.
Warriors executive director Radlinski said: "Anthony came to us a few weeks ago expressing his desire to return home to be closer to his family and girlfriend in New Zealand.
"We can't have anyone here who isn't emotionally in the right place while we also don't want to see people upset.
My family has always stood by me during my time away and the time has come to put them first.
"We believe Anthony to be genuine in his wishes to return home, he hasn't got anything lined up, he simply wants to go home."
Wigan will have first option to re-sign Gelling should he decide to return to the UK.
"I'm sad to see Anthony go," said Wigan head coach Shaun Wane.
"He has improved greatly during his time at Wigan and the coaching staff and I are proud of the progress he has made. He will be missed around the club and he leaves with our best wishes.
"From a squad perspective, we have known about this for a little while now which is why we acted swiftly to secure Dan Sarginson's return."