AHEAD of his move to Warrington Wolves, England rugby union international Luther Burrell says rugby league ‘never really left his blood.’

Burrell, who has been capped 15 times for the national 15-man code team, has signed a two-and-a-half-year deal to join The Wire from Northampton Saints but will not link up with his new teammates until July 1.

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The 31-year-old was born in Huddersfield and played rugby league as a junior before embarking on a professional career in union with Leeds, Sale Sharks and the Saints.

“My background is predominantly in Rugby League as I grew up in the north surrounded by the sport and playing it at school, “he said.

“It’s never really left my blood.

“I guess my aim was to always try my hand at it one day and I’m buzzing to get involved with rugby league and the Super League.

“I’m excited about the challenge ahead as it’s fresh for me.

“I’ve had some great times in union and I’ve had some adverse times, so for me to have this opportunity to play league and see how far I can get with a great team is exciting.”

Warrington Guardian:

Luther Burrell scores for Northampton against Newcastle Falcons. Picture by Roberto Payne/Northampton Saints

Burrell is expected to compete for a position at either centre, wing or second row – all areas in which The Wire are stacked with established talent.

However, he says he is not switching codes to make up the numbers.

The 6foot 3inch, 17-stone Burrell also hopes his physical attributes will work in his favour in the 13-man game.

“I know I will need to earn the trust of my teammates first and foremost,” he said.

“I also hope to bring some physicality, that edge and the ability to break the line.

“I’ve had the opportunity to play for England in union and to play on some of the biggest stages in finals.

“I’d like to think I can transfer the experience I have gained into rugby league.

“I’m not here to make up the numbers, I’m coming over and I mean business.”

Burrell is the third player Warrington have recruited from rugby union in as many years and the results have been almost the exact opposite.

While Josh Charnley – brought back to league after 18 months with Sale – clicked straight into gear, Taylor Prell was released at the end of 2018 without having played a first-team game.

Burrell says conversations with Charnley helped to convince him about the ambition Wolves have.

Warrington Guardian:

Josh Charnley successfully re-converted back to league last year and Burrell says he has spoken to the winger about life at The Wire. Picture by Mike Boden

“The Warrington club is run amazingly well,” he said.

“Pricey (Steve Price) was unbelievable when I met him. It was exciting from the first meeting.

“I know a couple of the boys too. I know Josh Charnley from his time in union and I’ve been spoken to him.

“His message was about how great the club is and from the outside you can see it has aspirations.

“I’ve watched rugby league throughout my union career so to join a club like Warrington, who were finalists last year and have a fantastic squad this season, is exciting as it is a club that is going places.

“I want the fans to get to know me for themselves.

“I’m a northern boy and I’m looking forward to meeting everyone in the squad and getting in the mix with the Wire fans as I know it’s a big rugby town.”