No regrets for Luther Burrell after early return from rugby league

Luther Burrell says he has “no regrets” about switching codes to rugby league after sealing a 15-a-side return with Newcastle Falcons.

Newcastle have announced a two-year deal for the former England and Northampton centre.

Burrell, 32, joined Super League club Warrington on a two-and-a-half-year contract in 2019, but he recently left the Wolves followed limited first-team opportunities.

Burrell, who won the last of his 15 England caps four years ago, said: “I’ve got no regrets about going over to league, because it was the fresh challenge that I needed at the time.

“I will look back on it as a positive experience. I wanted to test myself, and I think I will come back as a better player for it.

“Playing rugby league is something I had always wanted to do, and in some ways it has definitely helped me.

“My endurance, fitness levels and aspects of my skill-set are definitely better as a result of my time with Warrington, and rugby league guys really pride themselves on doing the unseen work. I’ve bought into that.”

Luther Burrell on the bench for Warrington
Luther Burrell on the bench for Warrington

Burrell becomes Newcastle’s seventh signing ahead of their Gallagher Premiership return in November.

“I’ve not shied away from the fact I want to be back in rugby union, so to get signed up with a quality club like Newcastle is fantastic,” he added, in a statement released by the Falcons.

“I am just so excited about the whole thing, and can’t wait to get stuck in when I join the squad on September 28.

“I have not come to have a season ticket and be sat in the stand, so I will be working as hard as I can to get out on the pitch.”

Reflecting on Burrell’s Kingston Park move, Newcastle rugby director Dean Richards said: “Luther has expressed a real appetite to return to rugby union, he is in fantastic shape and it’s great that we have been able to secure his signature.”