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.”
“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.”