Former Wigan prop Harry Rushton says he is enjoying life Down Under and is aiming to make his NRL debut for Canberra Raiders this season.
The 21-year-old made the move to the NRL ahead of the 2021 season, joining Canberra on a three-year deal from Super League giants Wigan.
Rushton made one Super League appearance for Wigan in a derby against St Helens in 2020 before moving to Australia at the end of that season.
The Blackpool-born forward has yet to make his NRL debut for the Raiders, but has impressed when playing in the New South Wales Cup.
“I’ve been here 18 months now,” Rushton told the Behind the Limelight, the official podcast of Canberra Raiders.
“When I came here I didn’t know anyone but regardless whether they are English, Aussie or wherever they are from, they all really welcomed me here.
“I played at Wigan, that’s where Sutty played and also George Williams when he was here. It was nice to have them here because they were similar to me in that when they came over here they didn’t really know anyone. But all the young and old boys really welcomed me. We are like a family here rather than a club.
“I was pretty nervous back then. I’d only played one Super League game and I hadn’t really trained much first-grade over there but coming here was a big step up. The boys really helped me and I think I’ve changed a lot in them 18 months.”
Rushton has been a standout for the Raiders in their first two games of the NSW Cup season. He is aiming to make his NRL debut for Ricky Stuart’s side this year.
On his 2022 aspirations, the former Shevington Sharks and Wigan St Patricks junior said: “I just want to playing good. I’m hoping to get my debut eventually when I deserve it.
“But it’s good being in the Cup, I think we need to get a few wins to be honest. We’ve started off with a couple of losses which is really disappointing. First and foremost, we need to get out there on Saturday and get the win.”
Harry Rushton pays tribute to Josh Hodgson
Rushton’s fellow countryman Josh Hodgson has played his final game for Canberra. The England hooker has suffered a season-ending ACL injury and will undergo surgery on his knee.
On Hodgson, Rushton said: “He’s massive for the playing group. He’s a big leader and probably the biggest leader for me personally.
“He has really helped me and welcomed me here. He’s helped me along by giving me tips.
“He’s a proper good bloke and it’s devastating for him and the squad.”