The South Sydney Rabbitohs have agreed to a request from hooker Issac Luke to release him from the remaining two years of his playing contract, effective at the conclusion of the 2015 NRL season, to return home to New Zealand and take up a contract with the New Zealand Warriors.

Luke approached the Club about the release recently, a request which the Club has granted.

Rabbitohs Head Coach Michael Maguire says Luke is keen to return home to New Zealand to be closer to family.

“Issac came to us with a request to head back home to New Zealand from next season, for himself and his young family to be closer to their family in New Zealand, and we have agreed to that request,” Maguire said.

“I have a close association with the Luke family, his wife Mickayela and his three beautiful kids, and I can completely understand his desire to be closer to his family in New Zealand.

“Issac has been, and still is, a key part of this squad for many years now and I’m certain that he will be doing everything in his power to make sure his final season in the red and green is a successful one. He assures me that he has a number of goals he still wants to achieve at South Sydney and he and his team mates will be working hard to achieve those goals.

“We will bid him farewell at the end of the year, but for now Issac is still very much part of this team and this Club and we’ll cherish having him as part of our squad for the remainder of 2015.”

Luke says he will be doing everything he can to bring success to the Rabbitohs in 2015.

“I want to let our Members and fans know that I will be playing as hard as I can for South Sydney this year even though I am moving on at the end of the year.

“For me, this is all about my family. I feel that’s it’s best for me and my family to return home to New Zealand at this time in our lives and I’m very thankful that the Rabbitohs have allowed me to do that at the end of the year.

“I have enjoyed every minute of my time with the Rabbitohs, going right back to my debut in 2007. I will always hold the Rabbitohs Club, Members and fans very close to my heart and I’m looking forward to giving everything I have to the team for the rest of the year.”