NZ Warriors star Addin Fonua-Blake is seeking a release from his contract on compassionate grounds.
The powerful front-rower was a driving force behind the club's sensational run to the NRL preliminary finals this year and was subsequently named Dally M Prop of the Year, but is hoping to negotiate his way out of Mt Smart before next season.
The Warriors have confirmed media reports of Fonua-Blake's wishes to return to Sydney to be closer to his parents, just three years after a similar request to Manly Sea Eagles to leave Sydney.
Chief executive Cam George says the club is considering the request.
The Tongan international is signed with the Warriors to the end of the 2026 season and his departure would be a cruel blow to the club and its fans, who can finally taste an NRL premiership under Coach of the Year Andrew Webster.
Fonua-Blake is one of only three players contracted beyond the next 24 months - the others are forward Marata Niukore and returning crosscode star Roger Tuivasa-Sheck.
At 1.89m and 123kg, he finished third in the NRL for running metres with 4453, but led the competition in post-contact metres with 1670, a measure of his sheer power.