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Gareth Widdop forced to leave family in Australia after failing to earn NRL deal

Ex-NRL star Gareth Widdop looks to have failed in his bid to earn a contract in Australia so he could stay close to his young family.

The 31-year-old spent a decade in the NRL before signing a lucrative three-year deal in the English Super League with Warrington following the 2019 NRL season.

But his wife and children wanted to live in Australia and they returned home, which saw Widdop spend the past few months chasing an NRL deal so he could be with his family.

The former Melbourne and St George Illawarra playmaker reportedly slashed his asking price to $300,000 a season, but couldn’t find any concrete suitors.

The Englishman drew interest from the Sydney Roosters and Wests Tigers but was unable to come to terms.

Widdop is now reportedly back in the UK and is set to start preseason training with Warrington, alongside former NRL superstar Greg Inglis.

Ex-NRL star Gareth Widdop looks to have failed in his bid to earn a contract in Australia so he can stay close to his young family. Credit: Getty

Widdop was also linked to the North Queensland but the speculation proved nothing more than a brief conversation.

Cowboys coach Todd Payten said he was stunned the story became news following a conversation about his halfback Jake Clifford.

“Jake and Gareth are managed by the same manager,” Payten said.

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