George Williams keeping options open over NRL return

James Gordon
George Williams Warrington Wolves Man of Steel leaderboard News Images

In-form Warrington stand-off and current Man of Steel leader George Williams has responded to speculation linking him with a possible return to the NRL.

Williams, 28, has been in top form as the Wolves have won six out of six to sit alone at the top of the Super League table.

That prompted rumours Down Under that Wests Tigers, now coached by former Hull KR, Salford and Widnes coach Tim Sheens, were interested in taking him back to Australia.

They were soon slapped down by Warrington chief executive Karl Fitzpatrick, but that didn’t stop the talk being raised on Sky Sports by Jenna Brooks.

Williams was a guest on the afternoon show, The Verdict, live on Sky Sports News, joining Jon Wilkin and Brooks live from the Halliwell Jones Stadium.

He said: “I’m not too sure what will happen in the future, I’m really enjoying my time at Warrington, I’ll definitely be here this year and next year, I’m really enjoying it. The fan base have been unbelievable in the last six weeks, and who knows what will happen in the future.

“I definitely wouldn’t write it off. You’ve got to explore your options, but I’ve got 18 months left on my contract, we’ll see what the future holds.”

“No way he’ll be leaving us any time soon”

Williams joined Warrington on a three and a half year deal in 2021 and made an immediate impact, scoring the winning drop goal on his debut away at Leeds.

After an excellent World Cup for England in the autumn, he has hit the ground running for Daryl Powell’s side in 2023.

And Warrington are more than keen to extend Williams’ stay.

Fitzpatrick told Wide World of Sports: “He is signed with us until the end of 2024 and we are actually in discussions about an extension.

“We rate George very highly and no way will he be leaving us any time soon.”

The former Wigan half-back, who won two Super League titles with his hometown club, played 22 times for Canberra Raiders in the NRL in 2020.

But his move Down Under turned sour the following year, when he was apparently forced out by the club after expressing concerns over homesickness.

That led to a break down in his relationship with Raiders coach Ricky Stuart.

At the time, Williams tweeted: “I asked for a release weeks ago for the end of the season… Not once did I ask for a immediate release but instead of supporting me the club kicked me out the door.”

With Williams under contract at Warrington until the end of 2024, he isn’t permitted to talk to NRL clubs without the club’s permission until November.

In the unlikely event Warrington don’t offer him a new deal by May 2024, he would then be allowed to speak to other Super League clubs.

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