St George insist Gareth Widdop will remain with the Dragons in 2019 despite exit talk

St George captain Gareth Widdop has denied speculation that he has asked for a release from his deal to return to England in 2019: but appears to have left the door open for a move beyond that.

Talk in Australia was that Widdop was keen to return to England immediately, having never hidden his desire to eventually finish his career in Super League, having never played professionally in the country of his birth.

But Widdop has denied that is the case – insisting he will be with the Dragons in 2019.

“I want to put to bed that I haven’t asked a release for 2019. To all the members, fans and the little kids out there, I understand my importance to this team and my position as the captain and leader of this club. I will be here in 2019 and can’t wait for the season to start,” Widdop said.

The Dragons reiterated in a statement that there has been ‘no decision by either party’ in regards to a potential release for Widdop at any stage, though the player himself again admitted he does want to finish his career in England.

“There’s no secret I have aspirations of going over to the UK and playing,” he said. “It’s something I’ve always wanted to do. I have a good relationship with the club and so when the time is right we’ll work together.”

“The club has been in discussions with Gareth for a number of weeks concerning his future at the Dragons,” Director of Rugby League Pathways and List Management Ian Millward said. “We understand his circumstances and he understands ours, and this is something we plan on working through together.”