Matty Russell signs for Warrington Wolves for second time

Matty Russell on a determined ball carry for Toulouse Olympique at Hull KR during the 2022 season. Picture: SWpix.com
Matty Russell on a determined ball carry for Toulouse Olympique at Hull KR during the 2022 season. Picture: SWpix.com

WARRINGTON Wolves have signed Matty Russell for a second time.

The winger, who has had spells with Toronto Wolfpack, Leigh Centurions and Toulouse Olympique since departing The Halliwell Jones Stadium in 2018, has started training with the club today after putting pen to paper on a 12 months deal with a one-year option.

Warrington Guardian: Matty Russell, who has rejoined Warrington Wolves
Warrington Guardian: Matty Russell, who has rejoined Warrington Wolves

Matty Russell, who has rejoined Warrington Wolves (Image: Warrington Wolves)

The 29-year-old, who represented Scotland in the Rugby League World Cup, joins as a free agent after spending 2022 as part of Toulouse's one-year adventure in Super League.

Warrington Wolves head coach Daryl Powell believes Russell has a lot to offer in the 2023 season.

“We’ve been looking around since the end of last season to give us more strength and depth in our outside backs, particularly with Connor Wrench being injured for the first part of the season," said Powell.

“An opportunity to sign Matty came up and, having played against him last season, I believe he will offer us some great strength in depth on our wings.

"As a powerful dynamic runner he can really create havoc in defences on kick returns.

"I’ve sat down with him and talked in detail about what we need from our players over this coming season. He is highly motivated and I believe he will be a quality acquisition for the club.”

Warrington Guardian: Matty Russell will be wearing shirt number 34 for Warrington Wolves in 2023
Warrington Guardian: Matty Russell will be wearing shirt number 34 for Warrington Wolves in 2023

Matty Russell will be wearing shirt number 34 for Warrington Wolves in 2023 (Image: Warrington Wolves)

Former head coach of The Wire, Steve Price, released Russell four months into his first season in charge, with the Wiganer then joining Canadian outfit Toronto on a two-and-a-half year deal.

Russell only featured three times under Price. He was dropped after Warrington's 18-10 victory over Widnes Vikings on February 16, 2018, with Mitch Brown taking over the role that was then to be filled by high-profile signing Josh Charnley.

He first joined The Wire for the 2014 season and went on to make 94 appearances, touching down for 31 tries.

Russell helped Warrington to win the League Leaders' Shield in 2016 and scored a try in that year's Challenge Cup Final defeat to Hull FC at Wembley. His contract was extended until November, 2019, at the end of that campaign.

He came through the ranks at Wigan Warriors and had a stint on loan at Hull FC before spending the 2013 season in Australia with Gold Coast Titans.

Upon joining Warrington, he was initially utilised as an explosive running full-back by then coach Tony Smith and got himself among the competition's top metre makers – dummy-half darts being a particularly strong point.

Duties were shared between full-back and wing during an injury-hit 2015 and 2016, but he was only called upon on the flanks in 2017 when 12 tries in 24 games was his best return for the club.