BRADFORD BULLS have today agreed the release of Samoan international Frank Winterstein by mutual consent.
The 27-year-old back-rower agreed a one-year deal with the club in October of last year and represented his country during the 2013 World Cup which followed.
However, after suffering a pectoral injury during Samoa's first outing against eventual runners-up New Zealand, Winterstein was set to miss the start of Super League XIX.
The former Widnes, Wakefield and Crusaders talent returned to his native Australia ahead of the Christmas period, having begun rehabilitation with the Bulls.
Winterstein married his wife upon returning home and has since opted to stay in Australia, where it is understood he is likely to join a rugby union side.
"I am disappointed to lose anyone, but when I met Frank he did talk about an opportunity for him to play rugby union in Australia," said Bradford boss Francis Cummins.
"He was keen to play out one year with us here, in Super League, until he got back home.
"Him and his wife have just got married and I guess, for a player who has in the past witnessed financial difficulties at other clubs, the uncertainty wasn't great for him.
"If an opportunity has arose elsewhere for him then we cannot really stand in his way, given the fact we are attempting to make cuts to our playing budget."
"It is an unfortunate situation, but I believe we have adequate cover at second-row. He certainly added to our strength in depth, but there are four or five guys ready to fill that gap."
Bradford Bulls officials have wished Winterstein and his family well, following a short stint with the Provident Stadium outfit.