Matt Russell looking forward to Scotland debut
The 20-year-old is still coming to terms with a big drop in temperature after spending the year on Queensland’s tropical Gold Coast and expects Scotland’s friendly against Papua New Guinea at Featherstone to help him re-acclimatise.
“It’s the first time my hands have been cold for a year,” said Russell, who left Wigan a year ago to try his luck in the NRL with Gold Coast Titans and has returned to sign a two-year contract with the Wolves.
Russell, who was understudy to Sam Tomkins at the DW Stadium, failed to break into the Titans team but gained valuable experience playing for the club’s Under-20s team and is keen to test himself in the World Cup with Steve McCormack’s Scotland.
“I’m really looking forward to it,” Irvine-born Russell said. “I spoke to Steve via email from Australia and jumped at the chance to play in the World Cup.
“I think I’ve developed a lot over the last year. I was full-time, training in the NRL squad and playing with Australian Test players and learned about being a pro.
“I’ve worked on my life skills, living on my own - I went out there at 18,19 and had to look after myself.
“I was looking at playing NRL at some point but I was out for five or six weeks with a dislocated shoulder, which didn’t help. I had another year there but to be honest I got a bit homesick.”
The Scots will be using their fixture with Papua New Guinea to prepare for their opening World Cup clash with Tonga at Workington on Tuesday, October 29.