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Fullback David Peachey has denied suggestions his rugby league career is over following his sacking from English lower divsion club the Widnes Vikings.
The former Cronulla Sharks captain's contract was terminated yesterday after he made a second trip to Dubbo in Australia to visit his ill stepfather.
The axing of Peachey comes less than halfway through his two-year contract. The 32-year-old joined the relegated Vikings this year after spending 12 years with the Sharks. Celebrated as the club's highest profile signing, the Widnes club beat off several rival offers to secure Peachey's signature for 2006. Injuries however have hampered Peachey's UK playing career.
Vikings chairman Stephen Vaughan announced the fullback's sacking was in the "best interest of the club".
"We have terminated David Peachey's contract in full," Vaughan said to Sportinglife.
"We understand his position with his sick stepfather but I want David Peachey on the field. No one player is bigger than this club.
"There are going to be a lot of unpopular decisions that are going to happen at this club in the next few months and this may allow us to bring new faces in."
Meanwhile Peachey insists his playing career is far from over. He has not ruled out a possible return to Widnes, nor has he ruled possible legal action.
"I haven't spoken to the club so I really can't comment on that because I don't know where I stand at the moment," Peachey said to AAP.
"I've got people on that.
"I'm at the stage where I'm in a bit of a hurdle, a little bit of a brick wall.
"This is a fence I'm willing to climb, jump, leap or fly over and get back into it.
"It's unfortunate with what's happened but I'll deal with it once my lawyers and management have gotten back to me.
"I need to take compassionate leave and do what I need to do in Dubbo then deal with the business side of things.
"I said at the Sharks I felt I had a couple of good years left and obviously they were heading in another direction.
"That was why I signed with Widnes, I feel like I still have a few good years to go."
Peachey also hasn't ruled out a possible return to the NRL.
"It's in the back of my mind but I've got far bigger things to attend to now in Dubbo," he said.
"I've still got a two-year (UK) working Visa so I don't see why I'd throw that away.
"There's still a lot of football clubs over there and obviously I'd love to be able to get into a Super League club now."
Following a Cronulla Sharks board decision not to retain his services after the 2005 season, Peachey signed a two-year deal with Widnes for 2006-2007. After their relegation to division one, the Vikings club claimed it would not be able to afford to sign Peachey. But the club and fans acquired the services of the veteran fullback following several fundraiser events.