Leeds release Wentzel & open door for Fourie

Leeds Carnegie have announced that they have given England flanker Hendre Fourie the opportunity to speak to other clubs after the South African-born star rejected the offer of a new three year contract with the Yorkshire club.

Fourie, 31, is contracted for next season but has asked permission to speak to other clubs in the Aviva Premiership to explore his options for next season. Any club that wishes to sign Fourie will then have to negotiated a transfer fee with Leeds Carnegie.

Chief Executive Gary Hetherington said, “Hendre has always been a tremendous servant to the club and I have no doubt that he would honour his contract with the club if he was to remain at Headingley Carnegie.

“However, it is only fair to offer him the chance to speak to other clubs given his outstanding contribution to the club over the years. “

“We have made no secret of the fact that we would like him to remain at the club to help us return to the Aviva Premiership and have offered him a new long term contract.

“However, we will now wait to see the outcome of Hendre’s discussions before we begin negotiations on a transfer fee if necessary.”

Meanwhile Wentzel agreed a new two year contract with the club in February and was committed to the club for next season following relegation from the Aviva Premiership.

However, following discussions with Chief Executive Gary Hetherington, the club and player have agreed to a termination of the contract to allow the second row to explore other options for next season.

Commenting on the announcement Hetherington said, “On behalf of everyone at the club, I would like to thank Marco for his efforts during his two seasons at Headingley Carnegie. “

“Unfortunately following relegation we have had to make some tough decisions about the club to enable us to build a squad that is capable of challenging to return to the Aviva Premiership at the earliest possible opportunity. We wish Marco all the best for the future.”

The 32-year-old commented, “Having spoken with Gary Hetherington, I understand the position that the club is in and whilst it is still a tough decision to leave the club, I hope they can achieve their goals for next season.

“The club faces some financial challenges for next season and if, by me leaving, they are able to attract two or three players to strengthen the squad, I understand their position.

” I will miss Leeds and Yorkshire a lot and I would like to thank the supporters for their fantastic backing of the team and me personally during my time at the club. I have spoken to a number of clubs but have not made any decisions as yet however obviously I will need to do that in due course.”

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