JOE Burgess has been tipped to take the NRL by storm after Sydney Roosters confirmed his capture on a three-year deal from 2016.
The 20-year-old’s move was announced by Wigan rugby manager Kris Radlinski at a fans’ forum on Thursday night.
And Roosters recruitment manager Peter O’Sullivan said he had no doubt Burgess has the talent to make his mark Down Under.
He said: “He will be a force, I have no doubt. He is clearly the most outstanding back in England. It’s a real coup to have him here for three years.
“Ever since I first saw him I went ‘wow’.
“I went over to England and watched him play - I have very high hopes for him. He will toughen up as he gets older but his speed, presence, athleticism and try scoring ability is already top shelf.”
Radlinski said Wigan did “all we could” to try and keep the 20-year-old beyond this year, but the academy-product wanted to experience the Sydney lifestyle.
And O’Sullivan added: “He had such a good time at Coogee during the World Club Challenge, the place sold itself.”
The Evening Post revealed the Roosters’ interest last October and, while the news will not come as a shock, fans will be disappointed to see the exit of one of the game’s brightest young stars.
Roosters were also interested in halfback Sam Powell, who has signed a new four-year deal to stay at Wigan. Emerging prop Ryan Sutton has also penned a long-term extension.
Wigan may not need to look too far for a replacement for Burgess, who himself got his chance when Pat Richards returned to the NRL.
Dom Manfredi is highly-rated by the coaching staff. He scored 11 tries in 14 appearances last term and is expected to push for a place in the team this year.