That wouldn't require any digging heels at all. Eric is perfectly entitled to run around for Wenty earning whatever he is earning for the rest of his contract if he wants. The quote from Hages basically says that. I don't think he'll look to England, makes much more sense for him to just do that at Wenty, stay on the same money, and keep the band together instead of relocating. We're presuming Eric isn't happy with this outcome, and maybe since he didn't regain form enough to get another go back in NRL (or got injured first) this is the club's way of saying that he won't automatically get catapulted into the side next year, unless he really owns that VB Cup competition. It then becomes Eric's choice what to do, which I think is more honest of the club than to keep him shackled with false promises that he might in contention for a starting spot next year etc.