Rugby League

NRL: Canberra Raiders release Sisa Waqa to French rugby

Canberra Raiders outside back Sisa Waqa has been granted a release from the NRL club to join French rugby outfit FC Grenoble at the end of June.

Waqa, off contract with Canberra after this year, was linked to a French rugby move midway through last season after his manager sought a release.

Au revoir: Sisa Waqa will leave the Raiders for French rugby in June.
Au revoir: Sisa Waqa will leave the Raiders for French rugby in June. Photo: Rohan Thomson

The Raiders said Waqa would remain part of the club's NRL squad until his release and would continue to train and play.

Waqa said the decision was a tough one and that he remained committed to the Raiders until his release was finalised.

"The Raiders have been great for my career and my family and it has been a hard decision for me to make," Waqa said in a club statement.

"I'm looking forward to finishing my time with the Raiders on a high and I'll keep working hard at training with the boys and hopefully get a chance to play again for the Raiders before I leave the NRL."

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It is not the first time Waqa has been linked to a move to French rugby.

Before he even arrived at the Raiders from Melbourne Storm, Waqa rang the club to pledge his commitment after rumours surfaced he planned to renege on his contract.

Waqa, who has played reserve grade for the Raiders' feeder club Mounties in the first two rounds of the season, was considered favourite to replace Joey Leilua for Saturday's clash at Newcastle, with Leilua facing a three-week suspension.

However, coach Ricky Stuart may now opt for young gun Brenko Lee given he will be with the team the entire season.