MATT Russell admits the chance to test himself in Australia was too good to turn down.
The highly-rated youngster will fly out of England later this month after signing a two-year deal with Gold Coast Titans.
Russell made a two-try debut for hometown club Wigan earlier this season and had a successful loan spell at Hull FC, amounting eight Super League appearances in total.
He had planned to stay at the Warriors and fight for a place in Shaun Wane’s side next season before the Titans made an offer which caught him off-guard.
“It came as a surprise,” said the former Ince Rose Bridge junior, who has never visited Australia before. “I got a call from my agent saying the Gold Coast were keen to sign me.
“I was happy at Wigan, but I weighed everything up and spoke to my family, and realised it was a chance that I couldn’t turn down. I think two years over there will do me good – not only from a rugby point of view, but living somewhere else too.”
Russell, a full-back or winger, may have found first-team chances limited in 2013 behind Sam Tomkins, Josh Charnley and Pat Richards but accepts he faces an equally daunting task in trying to crack the NRL.
“I know it’s going to be tough, I’m going over there later this month to give myself every chance – hopefully I can do enough,” he said.
Russell thanked his Wigan coaches and team-mates and added: “I’ve been there since I was a kid and have really enjoyed it.”
Warriors have yet to officially confirm Russell’s exit.