Adam Lawton has swapped cattle farming and working on the highways for a second shot at Super League with Salford – and admits he couldn’t be happier.
League Express revealed last week how Salford were closing in on a deal to reignite the 25-year-old’s career, four years on from him leaving Widnes to go and live in Australia. He has now signed a one-year deal with the Red Devils.
Lawton will continue to study for his plumbing qualifications alongside his playing career, and the towering forward explained to League Express how different life was away from the game when he opted to try and start afresh 12,000 miles away.
“I went there on holiday in that off-season because I’ve got friends living out there, and when I got back, I just wasn’t enjoying training at all,” he revealed.
“My mates had the sun, better money, nice jobs and they were doing whatever they liked, and I just felt a bit restricted.
“I ended up settling on a job for a few months working with a cattle farm; it was good fun, don’t get me wrong – but I wouldn’t do it again! I had a stint at Redcliffe Dolphins until I had to apply for my visa in the second year, and it’s very strict over there, so I had to go and get a job on the highways.
“Then that visa was coming to an end, and my partner fell pregnant. She had nobody out there and wanted a family around here, so we came home.”
Lawton had been playing amateur rugby until recently, but as he explains: “I was playing for Widnes West Bank and got the love of the game back. I was getting sick of people telling me I was too good for the amateur game, so I found myself an agent, got in touch with Graeme Taylor and he got the ball rolling.
“I thought I might have to do a stint in the Championship at first and was prepared to do that, but when Salford came along, I couldn’t say no.”
Now settled with a partner and children, Lawton concedes he was an ‘idiot’ earlier in his career, when he burst onto the scene with hometown club Widnes.
The tallest player in Super League and the NRL, he now wants to hit the ground running to make sure he does not waste his second crack at the big time.
“I’m going to keep doing the plumbing stuff at college because I want to pursue,” Lawton explained, “but I’m determined to be the best I can for Salford.
“This is a great opportunity for me; I thought I might have to go into the Championship when I came back, but Watto has given me the chance and I want to repay him. I’ll be as fit as I can for that first pre-season and hopefully can make an impact straight away.”