The Gold Coast Titans have reportedly left star forward Bryce Cartwright’s NRL career at the crossroads after finally ripping up his contract this week.
Cartwright in July walked out on the club to return to Sydney — reportedly leaving with more than $500,000 remaining on his contract.
However, that deal was reportedly terminated by the club on Thursday, according to The Courier-Mail.
The report reveals Cartwright has been left “broken” by his messy sacking, according to an unnamed source.
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After a turbulent year dominated by Cartwright’s high profile stand against the NRL’s mandatory flu vaccine immunisations, the Titans this week decided the club had finally had enough.
Cartwright has been unable to get his name out of the headlines in 2020 after he became the poster-boy for the group of players that refused to submit to having a flu shot as part of the biosecurity protocols demanded by the league and the Queensland Government’s border protection restrictions.
Bryce Cartwright is without a club for 2021.Source:Getty Images
He returned to Sydney with his family — wife Shanelle and their two children — in July after asking for special travel exemptions from the club for “personal reasons”.
He has played 43 games since moving to the Titans in 2018, but has failed to live up to the hype surrounding his high-profile move from the Panthers.
His poor efforts in defence have been highlighted several times in recent years.
However, he has also shown flashes of the player that exploded onto the first grade scene for Penrith in 2014.
He remains contracted at the Titans until the end of the 2021 season.
It means Cartwright is potentially walking away from more than $500,000 with the star reportedly set to earn more than $450,000 next season — with some of his wages still owed to him for the remainder of the 2020 season.
Cartwright was earlier this year granted an exemption to play in the NRL, despite refusing to receive a flu immunisation.
He was granted the special exemption on “medical grounds” by Queensland’s Chief Medical Officer Jeannette Young.
His high profile stance attracted plenty of support Australian stars, including former Home And Away actor Isabel Lucas.
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Before his abrupt decision to abandon the Titans’ 2020 campaign to return to Sydney, Cartwright admitted his niggling injuries were becoming increasingly difficult to manage.
“I do worry about how much longer I can keep going,” he said.
“The critics don’t see what you go through. My knees swell up and I have to get it drained all the time. That’s the price some players pay in this game.
“We get paid good money, but it’s not an easy ride.
“It’s hard mentally on me at times. But I always believe in never giving up. I will battle as long as I can until I retire.”
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