England international George Williams is committed to seeing out the 2021 NRL season, but the final year of his Canberra Raiders contract could still be up in the air.
New Raiders co-captain Elliott Whitehead said the club had addressed and "sorted" their social media-induced dramas and put it behind them ahead of their crucial clash against the Newcastle Knights at Wagga Wagga on Saturday.
The wife of Raiders lock Joe Tapine had a crack at coach Ricky Stuart on Instagram following their loss to South Sydney, but Whitehead said they'd addressed it on Monday and moved on.
"We've sorted it out internally and we've moved on from that so that's all done," Whitehead told The Canberra Times.
Whitehad understood what Williams was going through.
He felt his stint with France-based Catalans in the English Super League had prepared hims for his move to Canberra ahead of the 2016 season.
The 31-year-old spent two-and-a-half seasons playing across the English Channel before his move to Australia.
Williams came down under for the 2020 campaign and hasn't been able to go home to visit friends and family due to the coronavirus pandemic.
It's a similar problem for his pregnant partner Charlotte Lewis, with the couple struggling on the other side of the world with homesickness.
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Their families have also been unable to visit with the COVID-19 virus shutting down international travel.
The Raiders were working on bringing their respective mothers to Australia to help build a support network around them.
Williams could also get the chance to go home for the Rugby League World Cup at the end of the year if it goes ahead.
Regardless, Whitehead said the Raiders halfback had committed to at least see out the first of the two remaining years of his contract.
Warrington were interested in signing the England playmaker, while his old club Wigan have also expressed their interest - although it's believed at this stage Williams would be unlikely to return there.
"You always miss friends and family. For George it's been a lot tougher than for me," Whitehead said.
"I lived in France for two years and got the experience of living away from home before I came here, but George - with COVID - is unable to have family or friends come over and see them.
"I understand where he's coming from. He's having a newborn child as well. It's going to be tough, but he's definitely not going home.
"Hopefully they can sort stuff out and he can stay. He's fully committed for the rest of the season, so we'll see where he's at come the end of the year."
Williams (hamstring) and Sebastian Kris (ankle) have trained well this week and Whitehead expected them both to play if they get through Friday's captain's run in Wagga Wagga.
NRL ROUND NINE
Saturday: Canberra Raiders v Newcastle Knights at Wagga Wagga, 3pm.
Raiders squad: 1. Caleb Aekins, 2. Bailey Simonsson, 3. Sebastian Kris, 4. Curtis Scott, 5. Jordan Rapana, 6. Jack Wighton, 7. George Williams, 8. Josh Papalii, 9. Tom Starling, 10. Emre Guler, 11. Corey Harawira-Naera, 12. Elliott Whitehead (c), 13. Ryan Sutton. Interchange: 14. Siliva Havili, 15. Hudson Young, 16. Corey Horsburgh, 17. Joe Tapine. Reserves: 18. Sam Williams, 19. Ryan James, 20. Matt Timoko, 21. Dunamis Lui.
Knights squad: 1. Kalyn Ponga, 2. Brayden Musgrove, 3. Enari Tuala, 4. Bradman Best, 5. Hymel Hunt, 6. Kurt Mann, 7. Phoenix Crossland, 8. David Klemmer, 9. Jayden Brailey, 10. Daniel Saifiti, 11. Tyson Frizell, 12. Mitchell Barnett, 13. Connor Watson. Interchange: 14. Sauaso Sue, 15. Jacob Saifiti, 16. Brodie Jones, 17. Pasami Saulo. Reserves: 18. Lachlan Fitzgibbon, 19. Starford To'a, 20. Josh King, 21. Tex Hoy.