The Canberra Raiders could make a play for a premiership-winning halfback to help right the misfiring Green Machine.
Out-of-favour Cronulla playmaker Chad Townsend was dropped for the Sharks' clash against Gold Coast on Sunday, with the 2016 premiership-winning No.7 set to join the North Queensland Cowboys on a three-year deal next year.
But he could be an option to join the Raiders' ranks for the rest of the 2021 NRL season if he's surplus to Cronulla's requirements.
The Raiders released homesick halfback George Williams halfway through his three-year contract on Tuesday - reportedly worth about $600,000 a season - creating a playmaking void in their roster.
Sam Williams was named in the Raiders' No.7 jersey to take on the Sydney Roosters at Gosford on Saturday.
Canberra offered George Williams the option of an extended off-season at the end of the year to deal with his homesickness, prior to releasing him from the final year-and-a-half of his contract.
They were willing to give him a lengthy break to potentially go home and visit family.
Williams had asked for a release at the end of the 2021 campaign, but was blindsided by the club's decision to let him go immediately.
It's believed he was willing to return on his own next year, leaving partner Charlotte Lewis - who is pregnant with their first child - behind in England if the Raiders couldn't find a suitable replacement.
There's conflicting stories about whether Williams told Canberra coaching staff he wasn't in the right mental state to play against the Roosters, with sources close to Williams' camp suggesting that wasn't the case.
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The 26-year-old didn't attend training on Tuesday bringing the matter to a head, with the club verbally granting Williams an immediate release.
Williams hasn't signed the release, with the Rugby League Players Association brought on board to help the England international deal with the matter.
He took to social media on Tuesday night, posting the "club kicked me out the door".
It's a claim Raiders officials strongly deny.
Williams would likely return to England immediately when his release was finalised.
There were already two English Super League clubs circling to bring the halfback on board for the rest of the 2021 season.
Meanwhile, the NRL judiciary found Raiders co-captain Elliott Whitehead guilty of tripping Melbourne young gun Nicho Hynes and fined him $1500 on Tuesday night, but he's free to play this weekend.