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Vodafone Warriors outside back Ngani Laumape has been granted a release to switch to rugby union.

The 22-year-old, who was signed until the end of the 2016 NRL campaign, has been sidelined after having knee surgery.

After picking up an ACL injury in a training session in February, he recovered to play one game for the club’s New South Wales Cup side in late March only to further aggravate the injury.

“It has been a difficult season for Ngani after having such a good preseason,” said Vodafone Warriors head coach Andrew McFadden.

“His plan was to come back next season after his surgery but he has an opportunity to return to rugby union which he’s keen to take up. We wish him all the best with it.”

Laumape made his NRL debut against Cronulla in 2013, going on to make 14 appearances that season and another 16 last year. He scored 11 tries in his 30 games shared between the wing and the centres.

He started with the Vodafone Warriors in 2012 when he made 20 appearances in his rookie NYC season.

Also leaving at the end of the season is off-contract utility Dominique Peyroux. He has signed with English Super League club St Helens.

Peyroux (26), a regular in the club’s New South Wales Cup side, has played 20 NRL games – four this season – since joining the Vodafone Warriors in 2013.

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