Ryan Atkins hails Matty ‘ball of muscle’ Russell

Warrington centre Ryan Atkins has hailed the recent displays of his team’s young players, and is delighted to be at a club where so much effort is put into developing future stars.

Scotland full-back Matty Russell is one such youngster, and Atkins is delighted with the impact the Irvine-born 20-year-old has had on the Wolves so far. 

“He’s a little nugget, he’s a ball of muscle,” the England international centre told Love Rugby League.

“He’s an unbelievable talent. He’s coming along nicely.

“He had a bit of setback with his ankle over in Australia, but since Tony Smith has given him a chance, he’s not let anyone down.

“He’s developing and progressing week-in and week-out. The way he brings the ball back is great. He’s very elusive and beats players, getting a quick play-the-ball for us other backs to get carries.

“He’s a great player.”

Russell is just one of a number of promising young players at the Halliwell Jones, though, and Atkins is excited that so many youngsters are there to keep him motivated.

“It’s good to have a good squad around you, with good young players keeping you on your toes,” he said.

“It’s what you need. You don’t want to be relaxing around training, you need to be pushed. 

“It’s good that the young lads are stepping up, and when they’re given a chance, they’re taking it with two hands.

“A lot of people are continuously talking about the players who have just gone, but we’ve got some great players coming through.

“That’s what this club is all about. Tony Smith, Simon Moran and the coaching staff are trying to bring this club forward.

“We’ve got some great players in Gene Ormsby, James Laithwaite, Rhys Evans, Ben Currie – the list seems endless.

“So it’s not all about the here and now. It’s about the progress of the squad, so the future’s bright for Warrington and I’m glad I’m going to be part of it.”

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