Sydney - Reds forwards Liam Gill and Greg Holmes have been granted early releases from their contracts to take up new deals in Europe, the Australian Rugby Union said on Saturday.
The ARU said the pair have been released from their existing player contracts with the governing body, after formally entering into contracts with France's Toulon RC and Exeter Chiefs of England respectively.
Under Australian Rugby contracting rules, in which the deals run until December 31, both players would still have been required to participate in the National Rugby Championship and Wallabies preparations.
The ARU said it considered both individual situations and granted the releases after both players had given seven years of consecutive service to Australian rugby.
"This decision has not been made lightly, however in this instance we've put the best interest of the players first," ARU general manager of high performance Ben Whitaker said.
Front rower Holmes played for the Wallabies against England in the last June Test in Sydney, while flanker Liam Gill was part of coach Michael Cheika's squad through the campaign.