Hardaker wants NRL return

Zak Hardaker is unsure where his future lies but admits he wants to play again in the NRL.

Hardaker joined Penrith mid-season on loan from Leeds, and is set to return to the UK at this stage at the end of the season.

“Definitely I want to come back and play in the NRL,” Hardaker told The Australian.

“But, I am contracted to Leeds at the moment for another three years.

“That’s the thing in England, you get tied to long contracts. If I can give advice to any young players, it is don’t sign big (long) contracts.

“I’ve had a fantastic career so far, and it (playing in the NRL) was an opportunity that came about and I tried to grab with both hands because it was always something I wanted to do, come here and play.

“What I have achieved so far, I am over the moon. I am pretty happy with myself.

“So, going back (to England) I don’t know what’s going to happen yet.”

Hardaker said the £300,000 transfer fee on him is the only thing keeping him from being in the NRL in 2017.

“It is a hefty fee,” he said.

“Before I came out I was talking to five or six NRL clubs that wanted me.

“They had discussions with Leeds about the fee but the club did not budge.

“Obviously over here that fee comes out of salary cap. Back home it is separate.

“That’s why few teams can pay for players and put them in the salary cap.

“It’s the only thing that stops me from coming here (permanently) at the moment.”

Hardaker’s Panthers take on the Bulldogs on Sunday in the first week of the finals.

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