Gareth Widdop looking forward to life outside the NRL bubble

Gareth Widdop is excited to live a more relaxed life in the UK and get away from the attention in Australia.

The 30-year-old became the Wolves’ second marquee player earlier in the off-season after joining on a three-year deal from NRL side St George Illawarra Dragons.

And Widdop is made up to be closer to his family in Halifax, as well as enjoying a more chilled lifestyle in England.

He said: “That was a big factor (in coming over here). The NRL is such a big brand and the game is like the Premier League over there.

“To be able to come over here and be able to escape and get away from it is good. Obviously rugby league is crazy in towns like Warrington but just being able to get away in general and not have external pressure on you and media all over you is pretty good.

“I live towards Manchester way so it is just a bit closer to get to Halifax where all my family and that are from.

“The good thing about being back home is that I’ve got a bit of a life outside of rugby now. All my mates like rugby and stuff like that and I’ve got school mates who I still speak to. My grandma and granddad are here so it’s a bit of an escape to get away from just rugby.”

Widdop’s parents and sister, who he emigrated to Australia with when he was 16, have stayed Down Under but there are plans for them to visit at some point.

He added: “I moved out of home when I was 18 over there because of rugby.

“I ended up being in Perth for six years and then in Brisbane, so I don’t really get to see them too much anyway if I’m honest. It is such a big country to travel around but they are still living over there.

“They will probably come over at some point if they get a bit of time off work.

“It’s not the ideal start here because of my injury but it is good to be back in this country. I’m slowly settling in and I’m looking forward to start playing now.”

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