As revealed in Monday’s League Express, Warrington Wolves have signed former England International centre Luther Burrell from Rugby Union side Northampton Saints on a contract that will run until November 2021.
Burrell, 31, who stands 6ft 3in and weighs 17 stone, will join the Wire from July 1, when his Union contract expires.
He toured Argentina with England in 2013 and New Zealand for a Test series in 2014. He was also as part of the 2014 and 2015 Six Nations, scoring on his debut, and the summer tour of Australia in 2016.
Warrington chief executive Karl Fitzpatrick said: “Opportunities like this don’t come along that often. To sign a player of Luther’s quality and playing CV is fantastic for the club and for Super League. Having played most of his junior rugby in League, Luther is aware of the required skill-set and the physical demands. His impressive stature, his bone-crunching hits and dynamic running are sure to make him a firm favourite with our supporters.”
Burrell added: “My background is predominantly in Rugby League as I grew up in the north, in Huddersfield, surrounded by the sport and playing it at school. It’s never really left my blood; I guess my aim was to always try my hand at it one day and I’m buzzing to get involved with Rugby League and the Super League. I’m excited about the challenge ahead as it’s fresh for me. I’ve had some great times in Rugby Union, and I’ve had some adverse times, so for me to have this opportunity to play Rugby League and see how far I can get with a great team is exciting.
“The Warrington club is run amazingly well. Pricey (Steve Price) was unbelievable when I met him; it was exciting from the first meeting. I know a couple of the boys too. I know Josh Charnley from his time in Union and I’ve spoken to him; his message was about how great the club is and from the outside you can see it has aspirations. I’ve watched Rugby League throughout my Union career so to join a club like Warrington, who were finalists last year and have a fantastic squad this season, is exciting as it is a club that is going places.
“I know I will need to earn the trust of my team-mates first and foremost. I also hope to bring some physicality, that edge and the ability to break the line. I’ve had the opportunity to play for England in Union and to play on some of the biggest stages in finals. I’d like to think I can transfer the experience I have gained into Rugby League. I’m not here to make up the numbers, I’m coming over and I mean business.
“I want the fans to get to know me for themselves. I’m a northern boy and I’m looking forward to meeting everyone in the squad and getting in the mix with the Wire fans as I know it’s a big rugby town.”
Wolves coach Steve Price said: “He’s a quality signing, being a former England International who has played at the highest level in Rugby Union. It’s exciting for Luther to be able to switch codes and to challenge himself in the Super League; in saying that he has still got a number of games left this season with Northampton, once that season is completed we look forward to getting him here and involved in our team.
“He’ll have to get up to speed with new calls, different team-mates and a different game, so it will take a bit of time to transition, but he’s tall, athletic and can play in a number of positions which adds a lot of depth to our playing squad.
“He’s had an interest in the game of Rugby League from a young age, and is a great coup for our club.”
Photo courtesy of Getty Images.