Wigan prop Ryan Sutton admits interest from NRL clubs is “mind-blowing” as he ponders a move to Australia.
The Warriors’ home-grown forward is out of contract at the end of the season and is thought to be on the radar of Parramatta, Canberra and Newcastle.
“I’ve got to look at my options and what’s best for me,” Sutton said. “The NRL is a really good competition.
“I’m just chatting at the moment. I’m concentrating on playing well in the Super League - if it happens so be it.”
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Sutton is not the only Wigan player catching the eye of NRL scouts. Centre Oliver Gildart is also out of contract and is keeping his options open, while England international John Bateman has a clause in his contract enabling him to make the move for 2019 subject to his club receiving a transfer fee.
Hardly a household name in Super League, it is doubtful many fans in the NRL will have heard of the 22-year-old Sutton but he is starting to blossom.
He was in Wigan’s 2016 Grand Final-winning team and helped them to victory over Cronulla in last year’s World Club Challenge.
Sutton has missed only one of the club’s last 33 matches and his potential has been recognised with his selection in the England Knights squad but it is clear he has been taken aback by the flurry of interest from down under.
“It’s good that people want you,” he said. “If you’d said this to me two or three years ago, well it’s quite mind-blowing.”
There is even a suggestion that Parramatta might make a move now following their disastrous start to the season but Sutton says he still has unfinished business at Wigan.
“In my head, I’m playing to the end of the year,” he said. “I want to do well for Wigan and win some silverware because we came unstuck last year.”
The likes of James Graham, Elliott Whitehead, Josh Hodgson and the Burgess brothers are household names in the NRL after making the switch from Super League. But for every success there are a couple of failures and Sutton is aware of the potential pitfalls.
His Wigan team-mate Dan Sarginson is back in Super League this year, along with Joe Wardle and Jordan Turner after cutting short their stints in the NRL, while Sam Tomkins and Lee Mossop are among others to have returned home with their tails between their legs.
“I take advice all the time,” Sutton said. “I’m a young kid, I’m always asking questions.
“It’s always been in the back of my mind. But, if it does happen, I would go over there 100 per cent because that’s the character I am.”