St Helens forward Alex Walmsley explains why he has rejected countless NRL deals to remain in Super League with Merseyside club

ST HELENS forward Alex Walmsley has explained why he has rejected countless NRL deals to remain in Super League with the Merseyside club.

Walmsley, now 34, has four Super League Grand Final titles under his belt as well as one Challenge Cup success and a World Club Challenge triumph from his time at Saints.

But, over the years, ‘Big Al’ has had a number of offers to leave Merseyside behind and move to the NRL in Australia.

So why has he never decided to make the move and instead stay in Super League?

“I think it’s all down to happiness. you’ve got to put a value on happiness,” Walmsley said on Sky Sports’ The Bench podcast.

“When I’ve made my decision to re-sign, I’ve made the decision on being happy, if I’m enjoying my rugby and enjoying what I’m doing. There’s always been the potential to earn more money elsewhere.

“The first real opportunity came as early as 2015 when I had just finished my second year in St Helens. At that point I had only just left part-time rugby 18 months ago.

“I was still learning the game and I was cementing myself as a first-team starter at Saints. I had recently lost my mum and my dad was a big part of my rugby and I didn’t want to take that away from him.

“Then with kids coming along, having to uproot them – was it worth it for a fantastic way of life, money and the lifestyle? I was always happy.”

So why was Walmsley happy at Saints?

“Being successful means happiness. I’ve been fortunate these last six or seven years to be part of a side not just challenging but bringing in silverware. We have had some unbelievable moments.

“If I had gone on to pastures new and not experienced those moments then I would have regretted that. But, the one thing that makes me wish I had gone is to say that I could have done it.

“I’d like to think I’d have done it and put it to bed that I would have had success over there like I have here, but I wouldn’t change anything for the world.”

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