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Lawton granted request for early release

The Vodafone Warriors today announced hooker Karl Lawton has requested and been granted a release from the final year of his contract to join another NRL club.

The 25-year-old Lawton is side-lined for most of the season after rupturing the Achilles tendon in his left leg during a training session with the club’s Australia-based squad in Kiama in December.

“We’ve reluctantly agreed to Karl’s request given he has an opportunity to join another club for the next two seasons,” said Vodafone Warriors CEO Cameron George.

“We’re really grateful for what he has done for the club on and off the field over the last three years.

“We wish him all the best in his recovery from this injury and look forward to seeing him resume his career.”

Vodafone Warriors recruitment manager Peter O’Sullivan said the club wanted to ensure Lawton had some certainty about his future.

“Given the circumstances surrounding Karl’s injury, as a club we couldn’t stand in his way of securing another contract moving forward,” he said.

After joining the Vodafone Warriors from Gold Coast in 2018, Lawton was limited to 15 NRL games in his first two seasons before appearing in 18 matches last year.

His 33rd and last appearance was against Manly in the final round of the 2020 season.