Ambitious Championship club Newcastle Thunder have made an audacious bid to sign England half-back George Williams following his sudden release by NRL club Canberra.
The 26-year-old Williams is expected to be in high demand after he was surprisingly released with immediate effect by the Raiders, less than halfway through his three-year contract.
Williams wants to return to England for personal reasons, with his partner Charlotte expecting their first child later in the year.
The player’s old club Wigan have first refusal on his services, as part of the conditions agreed when they allowed him to move to Australia, while Warrington and Leeds are also thought to be keen.
Whether any of the Super League clubs could accommodate Williams straight away remains to be seen and, in the meantime, Newcastle say they want to offer him a short-term deal.
Thunder chairman Mick Hogan confirmed that his club have made their interest known to Williams’ England-based manager Andy Clarke.
“We have expressed an interest and made an offer to his manager,” said Hogan.
“We appreciate he will want to play at the highest level possible, particularly with it being a World Cup year, but if that isn’t possible due to Super League salary cap issues, then Newcastle would be a great option for him.”
Newcastle were fast-tracked from League 1 following Leigh’s elevation to Super League in December and have bold plans to reach the top flight themselves and win the Grand Final by 2030.