Warrington Wolves have today confirmed that they will sign former England rugby union international centre Luther Burrell on a deal until 2021, joining this summer following the culmination of the rugby union season.
31-year-old Burrell currently plays for Northampton Saints in the Gallagher Premiership and has fifteen England caps to his name, the last of which coming in 2016. Rumours emerged suggesting that the powerhouse centre could switch codes to league late last week and he becomes the latest big signing for Warrington following the recent acquisition of Blake Austin and the signature of Gareth Widdop from the start of next season.
The Huddersfield-born player initially played rugby league as a youngster, playing for his hometown team at under-14 and under-15 level prior to embarking on a rugby union career with Huddersfield RUFC before joining Leeds Carnegie – now Yorkshire Carnegie. Burrell has spent his entire professional career in union with over 200 senior appearances to his name but, after signing for Warrington, he couldn’t hide his excitement at the challenge that awaits him.
“I’m buzzing to get involved with rugby league and the Super League,” said Burrell. “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,” he added. Steve Price, his soon-to-be head coach at the Wolves, was also delighted after signing the former England international. “He’s a quality signing, being a former England International who has played at the highest level in rugby union,” the Australian said. “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”.
With Warrington already having two wins in as many matches to their name in the 2019 Betfred Super League season, it is no surprise that Price is looking forward to adding such a player to his ranks come mid-season and he will be hoping that the addition of Burrell will help The Wire take that final step to silverware after falling short in both showpiece finals in 2018.
It is believed that Burrell is being considered for a range of positions including his union role of centre, a position which could see him line up inside Josh Charnley, another player in the Warrington ranks with union experience after a stint with Sale Sharks. “I know him from his time in Union and I’ve been spoken to him; his message was about how great the club is and from the outside you can see it has aspirations,” Burrell remarked.