“I’M expecting him to be outstanding when we get him in there.”

Those were the words of Daryl Powell as Billy Magoulias prepared to make his Warrington Wolves debut.

He may well have lived up to those words in time, but now we will never know after his departure was confirmed this morning.

> The full story of Billy Magoulias' immediate release from his Warrington Wolves contract here

It is fair to say Magoulias, who came in with a reputation as the kind of old-school, ball-playing loose forward Powell wanted playing at the base of his pack, did not really stand out in his eight appearances.

Warrington Guardian:

Billy Magoulias played just eight times for The Wire after joining from Cronulla Sharks. Picture by Mike Boden

There will of course be mitigating circumstances for that – adjusting to life in a new competition and a new country, building up fitness after needing pre-season ankle surgery and the general difficulty of shining in an underperforming team chief among them.

Supporters will have their own opinions on what they saw - and there have been plenty since the news emerged - but any suggestion the decision to cut short a contract that was due to end in a few months was performance-related is likely wide of the mark.

Magoulias revealed on Instagram last month that he and his partner were expecting their first child – due in November – and it may well be that they wanted to be closer to the support of family and friends through the process.

While there will be chatter and debate around the reasons, they will likely remain private and he no doubt goes with the best wishes of everyone in this part of the world.

Not through lack of trying, but things just did not work out.

What it does do, however, is demonstrate the pitfalls of shopping in the NRL market – one Wire have not had a great deal of joy in over the past few years.

These things can happen and Warrington are not the only club to suffer from this kind of thing, but it is happening to them more often than not. Why?

Rightly or wrongly, it puts the club’s heavily-criticised recruitment policy under yet more scrutiny.

With Thomas Mikaele having just arrived from Down Under for (hopefully) the next two-and-a-half years at least, and with three more set to follow in the shape of St George Illawarra forward Josh McGuire and Canterbury Bulldogs pair Paul Vaughan and Matt Dufty, this worrying trend simply has to change.

We won’t find out if it has until well into next year at the earliest, but this latest foray into the Australian market has to be chalked up as another disappointment.

Warrington Guardian:

Picture by Mike Boden