Sonny Bill Williams appears to have played his last NRL game, the dual international set to extend his stay in the 15-a-side code despite ongoing overtures from the Sydney Roosters.
Williams helped lead the Roosters to the 2013 premiership in his return to rugby league after six seasons away and Tricolours supremo Nick Politis is keen on luring the Rugby World Cup winner back to the NRL next year.
However, reports emerged late on Wednesday that the big money on offer in French and European rugby and with the All Blacks will keep Williams in rugby beyond this year when his current contract ends.
Williams will compete at the Rio Olympics later this year in the debut of rugby sevens at the Games.
But the Roosters had kept the door open for him to return to the club next season.
The Roosters are said to be around $600,000 under the salary cap this year after losing a number of stars in Roger Tuivasa-Sheck, Michael Jennings and James Maloney. That money could be used as a sign-on fee to lure Williams back.
However, the 30-year-old Williams is said to view his future with rugby.
That would result in the Roosters missing out on two of their main recruitment targets in Williams and Jarryd Hayne. Former Parramatta captain Hayne is determined to continue to chase his NFL dream. But he said earlier this year if he ever returned to the NRL, it would only be with the Eels.
The Roosters might have already realised they needed to turn their attention elsewhere: North Queensland premiership-winning fullback Lachlan Coote has reportedly been offered a four-year deal to join Trent Robinson’s side from next season.