Ryan Sutton has cut short his off-season break and flown to Australia to give himself every chance of cracking the NRL.
The prop has already started training with new club Canberra Raiders – less than a month after bowing out of Wigan with a Grand Final.
While his team-mate John Bateman and Canberra’s other Englishmen, Josh Hodgson and Elliot Whitehead, will this week begin their off-season following duty with the national team, Sutton is settling into the Australian capital.
The 23-year-old said he departed with a combination of “nerves and excitement” having spent his entire career with his hometown club.
“I think having a change in lifestyle can help you by getting out of your comfort zone,” he said, shortly before flying over.
“I think the actual challenge excites me. They say it’s the best competition in the world, and it is a great competition, and I’m looking forward to challenging myself over there.
“But the work starts in the off-season now.
“If I didn’t think I could do it, I wouldn’t go over. Backing yourself is the first battle.
“I think people can say as much as they want about you, but you know within yourself if you can do it, and I think there’s no reason why I can’t cut it in the NRL.”
Sutton played more than 100 games for his hometown club, winning two Grand Finals and a World Club Challenge, but knows some people expect him to struggle in Australia.
“Some people do say stuff on social media and you do read it, but at the same time, there is nothing better than proving them wrong so if I can go over there and prove people wrong, so be it,” he said.
“Some people think I’ll be back playing in the Super League within a year, but we’ll soon see. I don’t think that’ll happen personally because I’ve got that mentality that if I’m going doing something, I’m doing it.
“I’m not just going over there to dip my toe in, but we’ll soon find out.”
After a short break following the October 13 Grand Final triumph, Sutton was back in training at Blundell’s Boxing gym to ensure he arrived in Canberra in good condition.
And he had a message to the Warriors supporters.
“I’d like to say a big thanks to the fans,” he added. “When it got announced I was leaving I was a bit dubious to see what was said but I had nothing but positivity and I think that says a lot of Wigan fans.
“Wigan will always hold a special place in my heart– it’s my hometown club and it’s where I grew up.”