The Raiders could be the next club to splurge on the market after George Williams expressed feelings of homesickness.
The Canberra Raiders could be the next club queuing up to splurge on the NRL’s halfback market after star import George Williams expressed feelings of homesickness to the club.
With his partner expecting their first child, the England star reportedly approached coach Ricky Stuart a fortnight ago about an early exit from his contract which still has 18-months to run.
Williams has become the cornerstone of Ricky Stuart’s playmaking stocks with an ability to organise, ball-play and marshall his troops around the paddock.
But having arrived in Canberra weeks before the global pandemic, he’s been unable to see family, leading to a bout of homesickness which he has expressed to the club.
Nine’s Danny Weidler reports that while the club will do their best in the interim to support Williams, they will likely keep one eye on the market with the fear their star import may eventually choose to return home.
“George Williams is homesick, his agent is aware of this, he’s talked to his agent and the Raiders have been told this,” Weidler told Nine’s 100% Footy.
“The Raiders are going to try everything they can to try and make him feel better. Because of COVID, he hasn’t been able to see them. If he stays, they may ensure that his parents will come out at some point.
“However, I get the feeling they’ll stick with him for now, but they may end up being in the market for a halfback. That could be another club looking for a halfback because they’re worried that this could be an ongoing thing.”
It’s just another spanner in the work for Ricky’s Raiders who slumped to their fourth consecutive loss on Thursday night against the Rabbitohs.
Stuart took to his post-match press conference to call out a lop-sided penalty count from officials, but quietly, the coach is set to put a firecracker up his players who are being left behind by the modern game, says Weider.
“I had a chat to Ricky today and he’s pretty angry,” Weidler said. “He said his job is obviously to maximise what he gets out of all his players, including the very best of their players.
“He said he’s going to challenge them. And he said, if it causes a shit fight, he’s happy to be involved in a shit fight. He’s pretty angry about what’s going on at his club.
“Privately, I think the Raiders will admit that the game may have gone past a couple of their players…Not all of them are keeping up. Some of their players, I’m not talking about their big names, but it’s going past them. That’s unfortunate, but that’s the truth.”
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