Akuila Uate has left Huddersfield Giants.
The Fiji icon, 32, joined the Giants in a high-profile move ahead of the 2019 season after eleven prolific years in the NRL.
However, his time in Super League has been ruined by an ankle injury that saw him struggle for form at the start of last season, forcing him to undergo surgery thereafter.
The winger hasn’t played a single game since that operation over twelve months ago and he has now departed the Giants after having made just twelve appearances for the claret and gold.
“This decision is very disappointing for Akuila, who has worked as hard as anyone could to get back from his ankle issue,” the club’s Managing Director Richard Thewlis said.
“The situation, however, couldn’t be allowed to drift any further, especially given the club’s acute difficulties with the Covid-19 situation, which is likely to only worsen in the coming months, with next year already looking extremely challenging for every Super League club.
“That said, Aku’s departure will of course help financially and his gesture in returning home is very much appreciated and will certainly help our short and medium-term situation,” added Thewlis.
“I have already said that the only way I can see through the financial crisis in Rugby League is by us all sticking together on the key issues and Aku has done the right thing here to help the club. I sincerely hope that things will work out well for him and his family back home and that he is soon back on a rugby field.”
Uate added: “I’m very thankful for the opportunity the club has given me. I’d like to thank the squad, who have made me feel welcome from day one.
“I’d also like to thank the fans, and all the backroom and coaching staff and register that I am leaving on good terms. I’d like to lastly thank my family, who have supported me throughout this experience. It’s not the end of the journey as far as I’m concerned, but the beginning of other opportunities.
“Although it didn’t work out the way I wanted, I’m thankful for the opportunity to play for the Huddersfield Giants and I am excited to play again in the future.”