Gareth Widdop’s shock Dragons request
St George Illawarra Dragons' playmaker Gareth Widdop has shocked club officials after asking for an immediate release from the joint venture.
The Sydney Morning Herald is reporting the English international cited homesickness as the reason for wanting to leave the club despite having three years remaining on his $1 million-a-year contract.
Widdop combined with big-money signing Ben Hunt to lead the Dragons to the finals last season before shoulder injuries forced the star five-eighth to undergo off-season surgery.
The shock announcement could leave the door open for the Dragons to target Shaun Johnson after the Warriors granted the Kiwi international an immediate release on Wednesday.
Johnson, the face of rugby league in New Zealand, is finally free to "spread his wings" and pursue other offers after his near decade-long partnership with the Warriors came to a bitter end.
The departure opens the door for NRL rivals to circle, with Cronulla reportedly in the box seat to secure the star playmaker's signature following the departure of Valentine Holmes.
NRL clubs have been told by an advisor of Johnson that he'll be at the Sharks in 2019, however the club failed to confirm the rumours when contacted by the Daily Telegraph.
But should Widdop break his contract and return to England the Dragons would free up an enticing amount of cap space that could help lure Johnson to the Red V.
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