Former Knights and Manly winger Akuila Uate could be on the verge of a return to the NRL after being released from his contract with Super League club Huddersfield.

Uate had nearly two full seasons to run on his contract with the Giants, though the Fijian-born star is now free to depart the UK, pending travel restrictions.

The 32-year-old made 12 appearances in the Super League, scoring five tries, though an ankle injury hampered his time at the club.

Huddersfield managing director Richard
Thewlis said Uate’s departure would help ease the financial strain on
the club amid the coronavirus shutdown.

“This
decision is very disappointing for Akuila, who has worked as hard as
anyone could to get back from his ankle issue, as have our medics,”
Thewlis said.

“Aku’s departure will of
course help financially and his gesture in returning home is very much
appreciated and will certainly help our short and medium term situation.

Uate made 200 NRL appearances, the majority with Newcastle, scoring 129 tries, before heading to England.

A testament to his finishing ability, he finished the 2010s as the competition’s most prolific try-scorer.

While
the current situation would make securing an NRL return difficult, a
proven first-grade winger who won’t break the bank is sure to have
several NRL clubs interested.

Following his departure from Huddersfield, Uate said he was keen to continue his career elsewhere.

“I’m
very thankful for the opportunity the club have given me. I’d like to
thank the squad, who have made me feel welcome from day one,” Uate said.

“I’d also like to thank the fans, and all the backroom and coaching staff and register that I am leaving on good terms.

“I’d
like to lastly thank my family, who have supported me throughout this
experience. It’s not the end of the journey as far as I’m concerned, but
beginning of other opportunities. 

“Although it didn’t work out the way I wanted, I’m thankful for the opportunity to play for the Huddersfield Giants and I am excited to play again in the future.”

Sporting News – Tom Naghten

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