Leeds Rhinos have slapped a £250,000 transfer fee on James Segeyaro, after deciding to “renege” his contract.
The Papua New Guinean hooker only signed a contract with Leeds in September that would keep him at the club until the end of 2018.
However, he has now decided that he does not want to return to the UK and fulfill his agreement, citing homesickness as one reason.
His desire to leave follows speculation that Cronulla Sharks, the current NRL Premiership winners, were interested in signing him ahead of the 2017 season.
In a club statement, Leeds confirmed that they are considering legal action against the 26-year-old following this saga.
He joined the club midway through the season from Penrith Panthers and had a huge influence on their strong end to the season, steering them away from relegation.
Leeds Rhinos chief executive, Gary Hetherington, said: “We take this matter very seriously. James’ decision has created a big problem for us and created uncertainty throughout our organisation. We are aware of the interest in him from a number of NRL clubs but we have our interests to protect as well and need to consider all avenues in this matter.”