Toronto Wolfpack continue to bring the big names into their playing roster with the addition of Warrington Wolves winger Matty Russell.
The Scottish international follows in the footsteps of the Wolfpack’s Vice Captain Ashton Sims in swapping one pack for another and joins the Wolfpack ranks with immediate effect after agreeing a release from the Super League side.
Russell has signed a deal that will see him run with the pack for the remainder of the 2018 season and then for a further two years. He is the Wolfpack’s third highbrow signing in under two months and their third high quality outside back.
After originally rising through the ranks at Wigan Warriors Russell made his Super League debut in 2011. Having struggled to earn regular minutes with the Cherry and Whites he made a move on loan with Hull FC catching the eye in a strong six game display.
Despite only a handful of first team appearances the 24 year old impressed enough to earn a deal in the NRL with Gold Coast Titans. He returned to the UK after one season to sign with the Wire and made a name for himself in Super League.
Russell is a phenomenally strong ball carrier and is one of the best outside backs in the business at getting sets off to a good start for his team. His power and appetite for work is matched by an equal level of agility and pace, making him a constant menace to opposition defences.
His ability to perform in big games is well proven. Having played for Scotland on seven occasions, Russell scored a remarkable try in the corner against England in the 2016 Four Nations and was famously part of the Scotland side that drew 18 all with New Zealand as the first ‘second tier’ international team to claim competition points in the tournament’s history that same year.
Russell scored the opening try for Warrington at Wembley Stadium in the 2016 Challenge Cup Final against Hull FC and it’s that big game experience that will make him a valuable asset for Toronto to bring in as they approach the business end of the season.
After four successful seasons and just shy of 100 appearances in primrose and blue, the versatile back makes the switch to Canada, to help the Wolfpack on their quest for promotion and development of rugby league in North America.
Wolfpack Head Coach Paul Rowley was notably enthusiastic to welcome the club’s newest signing and highlighted the value he will bring to the side. He said:
“We are happy to welcome Matty to the Wolfpack. He is going to add more quality and competition to the backline and is comfortable on the wing and fullback. I’m really looking forward to seeing Matty pull on the Wolfpack jersey.”
Speaking to the club since putting pen to paper to join the Wolfpack, Russell admitted his excitement at a new challenge and the chance to go to a new level in his career. He said:
“Personally I’m looking forward to first of all playing with the Wolfpack. I believe my best rugby is in front of me and I hope to contribute to the team week in week out with a strong possibility of making the middle 8s.
“I’m really looking forward to playing in Toronto. I kept an eye on the club last year and to see how well it was going was great to see for rugby league. For my family to watch me play in Toronto will be an unreal experience!”