Cleary released by Warriors

Warriors fullback Ivan Cleary is to be released by the National Rugby Leauge club at the end of the season.

Cleary who has played a leading role in the club's success this season and has led the side in Stacey Jones absence said he is not bitter about the decision, as he told the club earlier this season he was considering retiring at the end of this year.

The 31-year-old Cleary is in his third year said he has decided he wants to keep playing and is likely to head to England to see out his career.

Warriors chief executive officer Mick Watson said releasing Cleary was one of the hardest decisions he has had to make.

"Ivan is arguably playing the best football of his career and I know he will continue that form as we work towards our goal of a top-four finish.

"However, salary cap restrictions don't allow us to keep Ivan in the squad.

"I am confident Ivan will pick up a new club and continue playing great football. He is in great shape and is injury free," Watson said.

Watson said Cleary is free to negotiate with other clubs now.

Cleary added that he has enjoyed his time at the Warriors and especially his run of good form.

"I am really enjoying my football at the moment and I want keep playing professional rugby league," said Cleary.

"I worked hard in the off-season and for this first time in a long while I am injury free.

"I am grateful that Mick Watson has told me exactly where I stand and given me plenty of time to start talking with other clubs."

Cleary joined the Warriors in 2000 and has made 38 appearances for the club, 33 of those under the coaching of Daniel Anderson.

In that time Cleary has scored eight tries, kicked 147 goals and one field goal for 327 points. In last weekend's victory over the Sharks, Cleary's seven conversions took his career tally past 500 goals - to 505.

Cleary is currently the leading points scorer in the NRL with 130 points, six clear of Andrew Johns. In total he has scored 60 career tries, amassed 1251 career points and made 172 first grade appearances.

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