Laybutt prepared to fight for NRL berth
LEAGUE: Bundaberg's Kyle Laybutt is more determined than ever to keep his NRL dreams alive.
The former North Queensland Cowboy was officially told last week he would not be offered a contract with the club for next year.
The announcement ended his three and a half year association with the club after signing during the 2015 season.
It was the club that gave him his start in the NRL.
Laybutt made two appearances last year but was not able to add to that this year.
"I'm obviously disappointed but this is only added another hurdle for me to overcome," he said.
"I'm more motivated than ever to get back to the NRL."
Laybutt has revealed exclusively to the NewsMail how he was let go.
He said the club was in negotiations with him five weeks before the end of the season and it said "see how you go" in the final few matches.
Laybutt's next conversation was one that told him his career with the Cowboys was done.
"I talked to the general manager and he pretty much said the Cowboys had a poor season and was going to make a few changes," he said.
"I was one of those changes."
Laybutt ended his affiliation with the club at the Cowboys awards dinner on Friday night where he was celebrated alongside eight others who will also leave.
The 22-year-old is now focused on next year and getting back to the NRL.
But it may not be next year.
Laybutt said his manager has been working out possible scenarios including a training camp with either Brisbane or Melbourne.
Laybutt has also had offers from Intrust Super Cup teams including his current club Mackay and his previous club Townsville.
He said he was leaning towards a move to the Blackhawks, which is likely.
"I'm going to go towards Townsville where I am comfortable. It's a very good club," he said.
"I want to hit the ground running, so I think that is the go."
Laybutt said despite the move away from Mackay, he had a good time at the Cutters.
"I really enjoyed it," he said.
"I was able to really take control of the team and the coach was really good to me."
If Laybutt moves to the Blackhawks he would play alongside Bundy's Cody Maughan again, who he played with at the Cowboys.
A decision on where he plays is expected in the next few weeks.