Sonny Bill Williams famously left Canterbury after signing a five-year contract with the club.
Sonny Bill Williams famously left Canterbury after signing a five-year contract with the club.

SBW, Lyon headline NRL’s greatest contract deserters

RYAN Matterson's exit from Wests Tigers mid-contract to join Parramatta has again stirred up angry NRL supporters who are fed up with a lack of loyalty shown from players to their club.

We take a look back at six infamous occassions where NRL stars have failed to fulfil their contracts in pursuit of greener pastures.

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Jamie Lyon left the Eels to return home. Picture: Mark Evans
Jamie Lyon left the Eels to return home. Picture: Mark Evans

THE NRL'S CONTRACT CHAOS

JAMIE LYON:

Walked out on Parramatta mid contract in 2004 citing homesickness before going back to Wee Waa to play a season of bush footy.

Joined St Helens in England for 2005-2006 before linking with Manly where he played 226 games.

Sonny Bill Williams famously left Canterbury after signing a five-year contract with the club.
Sonny Bill Williams famously left Canterbury after signing a five-year contract with the club.

SONNY BILL WILLIAMS:

The superstar caused a sensation when he walked out on the Canterbury Bulldogs in 2008 just 18 months into a five-year deal with the Bulldogs to join French rugby giants Toulon.

Ben Hannant left the Bulldogs to join Brisbane.
Ben Hannant left the Bulldogs to join Brisbane.

BEN HANNANT:

Granted an early release by Canterbury at the end of the 2010 season to return to the Broncos on a four-year $1.4 million deal.

The big prop denied claims the move was motivated by money and said he did it because his family wanted to return home to Queensland.

James Roberts left the Titans to link with the Broncos. Picture: Matt Roberts
James Roberts left the Titans to link with the Broncos. Picture: Matt Roberts

JAMES ROBERTS:

Gold Coast announced the signing of Roberts on a three-year deal in June 2015.

It was later discovered that his signature on the contract was forged, making it null and void. He requested a release from the Titans and joined Brisbane.

BLAKE GREEN:

The playmaker was offered a lucrative, long-term deal by the Warriors in 2017 while still contracted at Manly.

Then Sea Eagles coach Trent Barrett didn't want to let Green go but felt he had no choice because he didn't want to upset the rest of the Manly squad by keeping him.

RYAN MATTERSON:

The back-rower walked out on the Tigers one year into a three-year deal.

It's believed clashes with Wests Tigers coach Michael Maguire was behind the decision to leave. The Tigers released him and he signed a more lucrative deal at Parramatta. 

News Corp Australia


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