Update: 3:16PM SOUTH Sydney appear to have locked in a replacement for rugby union-bound Sam Burgess, with Penrith prop Tim Grant to join the Rabbitohs next season.
The Panthers on Friday agreed to release Grant from the final two years of his contract to link up with the Redfern-based NRL club in 2015.
He will, however, see out the remainder of the season with the Panthers.
The western Sydney outfit said Grant had approached club officials "several weeks ago" about a possible release, but eventually agreed to stay until the end of 2016.
"However, after a change of heart he again approached club bosses to ask for a release, which has today been formalised," the Panthers said in a statement.
"The Panthers respect Tim's decision and wish him all the best for his future."