Luther Burrell on his first full game in rugby league

Former England rugby union international Luther Burrell made his first 80 minute appearance in rugby league for Warrington on Thursday night.

The Wolves went down 30-12 at home to St Helens in a dress rehearsal for the Challenge Cup final at Wembley later this month.

Burrell, 31, made his debut in the trip to London last month having arrived from Northampton Saints at the end of the union season.

He said: “It was a great experience. They’re a great team St Helens and that’s why they finished top of the league.

“For me, it was great to get 80 minutes under my belt against great opposition, great to test myself to see where I’m at and to feel part of the team was important for me because I’ve put a lot of work in off the field.

“It was a proud moment for me. I’m really proud of the boys today, big raps to the young boys Riley Dean and Josh Thewlis that fronted up well.

“I think a lot of people would have written us off before the game, and I think we really held our own. We didn’t get the result and we’re disappointed with that, but we will learn.”

Perhaps the only blot on Burrell’s copybook in the game saw opposite number Matty Costello get around him in the second half as Saints pulled away.

He added: “I think I held my own. I think that right side got targeted, it’s what St Helens do.

“(Jonny) Lomax likes to skip across, play out the back and he’s a quality player so I had to dig deep and work with the people around me.

“I’ll watch the footage back and take it from there. I’ve got a lot of learning to do so hopefully I can do more.”

It was Burrell’s first taste of the Halliwell Jones Stadium, having been 18th and 19th man for home games during his stint so far.

“The atmosphere was unbelievable. To be part of the starting line-up and to run out was a special moment.

“To feel that crowd was great and to get the travelling support from St Helens too adds to the occasion.

“It was a very proud moment for me, the fans have been brilliant with me and hopefully there’ll be many more games – I don’t want to get carried away, I just want to work hard.

“I’m not alien to the sport, I grew up around it.

“But playing at the highest level, you’ve got to learn the tricks of the trade.

“I’ve got a little bit of technical stuff to keep working on, but I’m enjoying my time here and the lads have been great.

“I need to be playing and I’ll keep working hard and keep enjoying myself and keep turning up with a smile on my face.”

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