Matt Dufty reveals reasons for leaving NRL and joining Warrington Wolves

Matt Dufty is looking forward to playing a part in Warrington Wolves’ resurrection after revealing he left the NRL to escape the heat from the media.

The 26-year-old fullback made his Warrington debut against Huddersfield Giants at the weekend, a week after signing on a contract until the end of 2024 from Canterbury Bulldogs.

Dufty made 94 appearances in the NRL, mostly for St George Illawarra Dragons before leaving at the end of last year, but said he struggled under a tough and often critical spotlight in Australia.

“The NRL is a lot harsher, you’re much more in the spotlight, in Sydney especially,” said Dufty.

“I don’t read anything in the press but my mum, my dad, my missus (do); when I was getting slammed it started to really affect them. They told me and I thought I needed a change.

“I was starting to get the point where I was losing drive to come to training, losing drive to play. For a sportsman it’s a massive thing; if you’re not enjoying what you’re doing it tends to affect your form.

“I said last year I wasn’t ready to come to Super League, but I’ve always wanted to come. It’s been a goal for me to experience the world, and experience a different competition.”

Dufty says he was also drawn in by the plans of head coach Daryl Powell, who is leading a squad overhaul after a disappointing first season in charge.

“I got really excited the way he was selling Warrington and what he wanted to build,” said Dufty. 

“I was a big part of that and I really wanted to come over and help Warrington achieve something.”

Powell last week expressed his belief that Dufty could have a similar impact in Super League to former St George teammate Jai Field, now starring at Wigan Warriors, because of his pace.

Dufty concurred: “He’s always been that type of player, we’re pretty similar in that sense. We’ve got speed, we love to skip around the field. 

“He was under a bit of pressure at St George as well and he just said it’s a lot better over here in that sense. 

“The way he likes to play footy, it suits him as well. He said he loves it over here; he did sell it (to me).”

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