Anthony Gelling has lifted the lid on his unexpected move to the NRL.
The centre left Wigan and returned home with nothing in the pipeline and, having been told the ‘inn is full’ at the New Zealand Warriors, he was considering getting a job or studying.
“I had a sit down with some of the coaching staff and they told me the squad was full but maybe 2019 would be an option,” Gelling told NRL.com.
“If you want to play rugby league in New Zealand there is only one top flight club so I was looking at rugby union in August in Northland. I met with their coach and looked around their facilities but I didn’t want to be sitting around for so long so I had been looking at jobs or studying.”
But the Warriors threw him a lifeline and signed him to a one-year deal. The ‘man of the people’ - who returned home after his girlfriend was injured in a car crash - has started training with the Auckland-based outfit.
“I have got one year to do something special,” he said.
“It is not the normal way of changing clubs, I suppose, but I am happy with how it has turned out.”
His former Wigan team-mate Blake Green is among the Warriors’ other off-season recruits.
“Everybody loves an underdog and that is what we are,” added Gelling. “I consider myself a huge underdog coming here on a one year deal to a team that is the home of the underdogs.
“It would be like a fairy tale story to go all the way and win it this year.”