Rogers set for early move north

New franchise Gold Coast Titans are set to pounce after utility back Mat Rogers was today released from the final year of his contract with the Australian Rugby Union (ARU) and New South Wales Waratahs for personal reasons.

The 30-year-old scored 14 tries in 45 tests for the Wallabies and played 40 times for the Waratahs after switching codes from rugby league club side Cronulla in 2002.

"Mat Rogers has been granted a release from his playing contract effective immediately," ARU chief executive Gary Flowers said in a statement.

"Mat has advised us that his decision to leave the game was based on his current personal situation and that he would not be able to give his full energy and commitment to playing for the Wallabies next season."

"Mat has played 45 tests for the Wallabies, which is a fine achievement and no-one can take that way from him." Rogers, who had planned to move back to rugby league with the Gold Coast Titans in 2008, has suffered a series of family tragedies.

His father, former league great Steve Rogers, was found dead at his home in January after battling with depression and his brother was in hospital last week after taking an overdose of drugs.

Rogers had intended to join the Titans in 2008 after next year's Rugby World Cup but is now likely to play for them in 2007 with the ongoing saga for the signature of Melbourne?s Steve Turner expected to play a role in his linking with the club.