Wing takes up lucrative Union offer

James Gordon

South Sydney‘s Craig Wing has been granted a release from his contract to take up a lucrative offer in Japanese Rugby Union.

Wing, 29, will leave the NRL at the end of the season having made more than 250 appearances for the Rabbitohs and Sydney Roosters.

Rabbitohs CEO Shane Richardson said: “Craig’s personal issues have been well documented over recent months. The contract with Japanese Rugby will go a long way to helping his personal situation and we respect that and wish him well in his further football career.”

Wing requested a release on compassionate grounds a fortnight ago, and the club have been discussing the move since.

“It has always been our desire to have Craig see out his contract with our Club, but after careful consideration over the past fortnight, the Board and Management of the Club understand that it was in Craig’s best interests that he be granted a release.

“We certainly wish Craig all the very best in his transition to Rugby Union in Japan from 2010.”

The half-back or hooker, who had two years left on his deal with Souths, played 16 tests for Australia and 12 games for New South Wales State of Origin.

Wing said: “I have thoroughly enjoyed my time back at the Rabbitohs and I am sad to be leaving both South Sydney and the NRL.

“I truly appreciate the Club granting me this special release and I want to thank Souths for agreeing to my request so that I can move on with my personal life off the field.

“The Members, sponsors, coaches, my team mates and the Board have all been very supportive over the past two years and I thank them for that.

“I started my NRL career here in the red and green and it is fitting that I finish it in this great jersey.

“I am looking forward to finishing the season off strongly and I will be doing my best to ensure we make the finals.”