GEORGE GATIS has played his final game for the Giants.

The 29-year-old hooker will this week fly back to Australia for family reasons, and will not be returning.

Gatis joined Huddersfield from New Zealand Warriors on a two-year deal and was expected to make a big impact at Super League level.

But due to personal problems back in Australia, he felt he had no choice but to return home after just nine appearances.

The news is a big blow to the club, who never saw the best of Gatis because of the problems, with the hooker admitting the decision to leave was one of the toughest he has ever made.

“I’ve loved my time here, but my family need me,” he said.

“I had hoped to get through the year, but it’s not to be and I would like to thank the club for their understanding and help.

“Unfortunately, the rugby field is the furthest thing from my mind at the moment and I wish the Giants every success in the future.

“From day one, everyone here has been great to me and to not see the job through was one of the hardest decisions I’ve made.”

Giants coach Jon Sharp had hoped to persuade him to stay, but did not want to stand in his way.

“I am really disappointed for George and everyone at the club that he has not been able to complete his two years with the Giants,” said Sharp, whose side will be in the hat for tonight’s draw for the fifth round of the Carnegie Challenge Cup, which will be made live on the newly-named BBC News Channel at 6.45.

“He is a very popular member of the squad who always worked very hard at his game. I would like to send my very best wishes to George and his family.”