JOE Burgess admits he couldn’t have scripted a better farewell party.
The NRL-bound winger was in tears last week after playing his last Wigan match at the DW Stadium.
I’m desperate for it, I can’t wait to see my family’s faces if I walk off Old Trafford with a winner’s ring on my fingerJoe Burgess
Now, he is preparing for a dream goodbye – against Leeds in Saturday’s blockbuster Grand Final. “You couldn’t write it, could you?” said Burgess.
“I’ve been a fan all my life and to go out with a Grand Final... I can’t wait for next week.
“I couldn’t have asked for a better chance to go out.”
Burgess crowned a breakthrough season in 2014 by playing in the Old Trafford decider.
And having lost that final 14-6, he is determined to go one step further this time. “I’m desperate for it, I can’t wait to see my family’s faces if I walk off Old Trafford with a winner’s ring on my finger,” he said.
Burgess credits an emotional meeting last week for their dominant display against Huddersfield in the semi-final, which secured their place at Old Trafford.
“It brought us closer, and I didn’t think that would be possible because we’re a tight group anyway,” he said. “Seeing grown men crying, it brought us closer and inspired us.”
The 20-year-old is leaving his hometown club – “for now,” he points out – to join Australian giants Sydney Roosters on a three-year deal.
Incredibly, Burgess’ first competitive game for his new club may be in England, with the Roosters set to be involved in next February’s three-game, World Club Series – possibly with a match against St Helens. “Honestly, I’ve not even thought about Australia – my full focus is on helping win a Grand Final,” added Burgess, who turns 21 next Wednesday.
He and his Wigan team-mates will discover on Sunday lunchtime if they are in England’s squad for the autumn series against New Zealand.
Coach Shaun Wane is expected to name an unchanged panel when he reveals his provisional 19-man squad today.