Matt Russell looking forward to Scotland debut

Warrington’s new signing Matt Russell is looking forward to making his first appearance for Scotland on Saturday - and to finally getting his hands warm.

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.

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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.