Lauaki released by Wigan

  • Last Updated: January 23 2014, 16:22 GMT

Wigan have released forward Epalahame Lauaki from the final year of his contract.

Epalahame Lauaki: Has been released by Wigan Warriors

Lauaki, who turns 30 on Monday, joined the Warriors from Hull on a three-year deal ahead of the start of the 2012 season but made only six appearances last year.

It is understood he returned home to New Zealand in August, citing personal problems.

In a statement, Wigan said: "Wigan Warriors today confirmed that the club have parted company with prop Epalahame Lauaki.

"After numerous requests from the player over the last year to be released from his playing contract, the club has agreed to his request."

Wigan are also thought to be close to releasing rugby union convert Andy Powell.

The 32-year-old former Wales and Lions forward signed a two-and-a-half-year deal last April but he struggled to get to grips with league and played just five games.

Powell's last match was against Huddersfield in September, when he was replaced after nine minutes, and he did not make the World Cup due to a neck surgery.

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