George Williams thanks former club Wigan Warriors as they waive right to re-sign him
Former Wigan half-back George Williams will not be re-signing for the club after his early release from Canberra in the NRL, and will instead sign for another Super League club - thought to be Warrington Wolves; Wigan had first refusal but waived the right so Williams could play elsewhere
Last Updated: 18/06/21 11:31pm
England half-back George Williams has thanked his old club Wigan for paving the way for him to join a rival Super League team.
Williams is returning to England after securing a release halfway through his three-year contract with Canberra Raiders for personal reasons, with his partner due to give birth later this year, and he is expected to sign for Warrington.
The Warriors had first refusal on Williams' services, as part of the deal they struck to allow him to move to the NRL at the end of the 2019 season, and were keen to re-sign him.
In a statement, Wigan said they could have taken legal action to force Williams to come back to them but have opted not to do so.
Warriors chairman Ian Lenagan said: "Wigan had a signed agreement in place for George Williams to return to Wigan once his stint in the NRL had finished.
"During our discussions to bring him back following his decision to leave Canberra, George made it clear personally to me and to Kris Radlinski that he had had discussions with another club and, even though he appreciated what Wigan had done for him, he preferred a new challenge and hence did not want to return to Wigan.
"Wigan could have forced the issue legally but that's not how we operate. If a player is emotionally absent, then there is no point in him being at Wigan.
"We wish George well in his career and also in life, as he embarks on life's greatest journey as a father."
In the statement issued through his old club, Williams said: "Wigan acted professionally and honourably throughout and tried their very hardest to retain me such that finance was not an issue.
"I thank them for agreeing not to take legal action against me, even though their signed option allowed that course of action, in the spirit of allowing me to commence playing quickly again with a World Cup place for England in prospect."
Williams has been included in England coach Shaun Wane's 24-man squad for next Friday's game against the Combined Nations All Stars, a warm-up fixture for the end-of-season World Cup.