Jarrod Sammut has lifted the lid on his shock departure from London Broncos.
The halfback, who played a key role in the club’s promotion to Super League this year, was expected to guide the club during their top-flight return in 2019.
However, London confirmed last week the 31-year-old would not be returning to Trailfinders next year despite doing everything they could to keep him at the club.
For the first time since his exit, Sammut has spoken about his decision to walk away from another shot at Super League, revealing he had to return to the north for the sake of his family.
“I don’t think it was the right time to leave,” he told TotalRL.
“But I have some personal things going on in my life at the moment that has come up quite abruptly and in the end, I had to move back up north.
“Being off-contract at the end of the season, my family had moved back up north to Cleckheaton to be around their family and have support there, so I was living alone for the last four months from June.
“I was travelling back and forth from London to Cleck. I thought it was manageable but it got to a point where enough is enough and I had to bite the bullet. I didn’t want to leave London, but for the best for my family I said I had to go home.”
Such was the immediacy of Sammut’s decision to depart, he had even linked up with the club for the start of pre-season training.
“I had joined the team at the beginning of the week and started my testing and was very much a London Broncos player for 2019.
“It was an emotional conversation with Wardy. I sat inside in silence for a few minutes at first because I couldn’t get the words to roll off my tongue.
“I probably come across a bit jokey with some of my tweets on social media, but I was always signing with London. If there was any doubt I wasn’t signing I wouldn’t have done that to the fans.
“It’s not a decision based on money. I put forth what I wanted with London and they agreed. I was happy with that, so this is definitely not a money move, it’s just personal and family related.
“I can’t thank London enough, anything I wanted or needed they bent over backwards to make sure my family were taken care off.
“We left on good terms and Wardy said the door was open for me. But I have to understand he has to search for other players now. I don’t want the club to fall into a rut, I want it to succeed. We’ve achieved some great things so the last thing I want to do is leave them in the lurch.
“The memories we’ve made together are special. I wish them all the best and I won’t say never on a return, but for now, it is a goodbye.”
Sammut is now looking to the future. He has no plans to hang up the boots and has had initial discussions with three clubs in the north.
Ideally, the Malta international would like to stay full-time, although he concedes that opportunity might not arise.
Several clubs have been linked with a move for Sammut, who is now one of the hottest free agents in the game.
Wigan, Leigh and Workington have all been linked with a move, and Sammut hopes something can be arranged soon.
“I have had contact with two of those clubs with a further club contacting me this week,” he said.
“But at this point in time, we’re no further than the possibility of me signing. I hope to have something sorted in the near future but again, I can’t play on my terms. I’ve just got to depend on the clubs and hopefully, I fit into what they’re after.
“Ideally I want to be full-time, but with it being this late in the year the majority of the teams have their squads finalised. But hey ho, that’s what happens. If it had to be where I was part-time, I’d have to look at work and come to terms with the reality of what everyone else does. I’ve got to make sure I can keep a roof over my family’s head.”
Should he make the move to part-time action, he plans on training to become a firefighter.
One rumour circulating suggested he had already landed a job as part of the fire service, although he knocked back those claims.
“I’ve not started training,” he said.
“But I did inquire about it and it’s something I was looking to do if I was part-time for a life after rugby. If for whatever reason I was to move back to Oz that was a line of work I could fall straight into. I have enquired about it and have been speaking to a few people on the go to find out when the next dates are.
“I don’t know if it’s a brave move or a stupid move what I’ve done, but I’ve done what is best for my family.”