Sheffield Eagles have confirmed that USA international Corey Makelim will leave the club to return home to Australia at the end of this month.
The 26-year-old joined the Eagles in 2018 after spells with Wentworthville Magpies and the Mounties in Australia and has been a standout player for the club in the past two years, helping lead them to victory in the 1895 Cup at Wembley last season.
He made over 30 appearances, scoring eight tries, and has filled in at both fullback and in the halves.
“My partner and I had to make the difficult decision to go home due to a number of reason that were out of our control and also feeling home sick through this time,” Makelim told the Sheffield official club website. “I’d like to firstly thank Tubbs (Mark Aston) for giving me the opportunity to come over here and be a part of the Eagles in 2018.
“Big thanks to the boys and backroom staff for making my stay here memorable and have definitely made friends for life. Thanks also to the Claydon family for not only their sponsorship but their ongoing support and treating my partner and I like family.
“And finally a huge thank you to all the fans that made my partner and I feel welcome and our stay here a lot easier. Wembley was certainly my highlight, an unreal experience that I will cherish forever.”
Eagles head coach Mark Aston added: “Of course we are deeply saddened to be losing Corey, but we are fully behind his decision. We’ve spoken in length about this over the past few weeks and it’s been a difficult time for him so completely understand why he’s chosen to head home.
“His partner is now out of work; they are missing their families back home and we can’t give a definitive date when lockdown will end so have no real idea when training and playing will recommence.
“He would be welcomed back with open arms and hopefully if he wishes to do so he can carry on playing rugby league to a good standard back in Australia and on the international stage for America.”