Sam Tomkins has been released from his contract with New Zealand Warriors, paving the way for a return to the Super League.
Tomkins, 26, signed for the NRL (National Rugby League) side for a world record fee in 2013 but the club confirmed on Wednesday (8 April) the fullback has been granted early release with manager director Jim Doyle citing homesickness as a defining factor in their decision.
"He came here excited about testing himself in the NRL and also experiencing living in a new country but, in the end, Sam has found it too much of a challenge being away from home," said Doyle in a statement released via the Warriors' website.
"While we have talked with him and tried to work through it he has now come back to us to ask for a release at the end of the season.
"It's disappointing that it has come to this but reluctantly we have accepted there is no option but to allow Sam to return to England."
Warriors' decision to part ways with Tomkins was aided by swiftly finding a replacement for their departing star, signing Roger Tuivasa-Sheck from Sydney Roosters on a three-year contract.
Tomkins' contract was set to expire in 2016 but he will return to England ahead of schedule where he is expected to return to Wigan Warriors, whom he left in 2013.
Wigan chairman Ian Lenagan spoke enthusiastically of the player returning to the DW Stadium when quizzed earlier this week, telling Wigan Today: "If he became available we would be very interested.
"We've got the first option. If it gets to the point where he is available it is in our hands. And I'll be delighted if that was the case."