Widnes have terminated the contract of their new signing Will Matthews on compassionate grounds.
Matthews, 29, was announced by the club back in September but will now not be taking up a deal at the Halton Stadium.
He said: “I would like to apologise to the staff and supporters of Widnes Vikings for any inconvenience that the cancellation of my transfer causes. This decision has been made purely for family reasons, and I am sure that I will always feel an element of regret that I will not be able to play for Widnes Vikings in Super League.
“For family reasons, we have chosen to move back to the Gold Coast area, where I will pursue my career.
“Whilst we were excited to move to the Vikings, we have ultimately reflected that we need to remain close to our family and support networks, which are important to us at this time.
“I signed my contract with Widnes Vikings in good faith and the circumstances we face are entirely unforeseen.
“Once again, I apologise to the Club for what has been one of the hardest decisions of my life, and would like to wish the Vikings and their supporters all the best for the future.”
Matthews has previously played more than 90 games in the NRL for Gold Coast Titans and St George-Illawarra Dragons.
The Vikings say that the money freed up from Matthews non-signing has gone towards the capture of Papua New Guinea international Kato Ottio and for further player recruitment.