Why risk your happiness for a few extra quid? – Alex Walmsley reveals NRL snubs

George Riley
Alex Walmsley

Alex Walmsley is tackled during the 2016 World Club Series between St Helens and Sydney Roosters

England prop Alex Walmsley has revealed he has turned down multiple contract offers from the NRL because of his love for St Helens and family life in the north west of England.

The 32-year old is celebrating his testimonial year as Saints bid for a record fourth Super League title in a row. He has been at the club since signing from Batley in 2013.

And the former Dewsbury Celtic amateur reveals on the Love Rugby League podcast how he has turned down several approaches to move to Australia and play with the very best in the NRL.

“I have had plenty of opportunities to do that to be honest. It was something I turned down on three or four occasions. I think the only regret that will sit with me is the stigma of ‘you’ve got to prove yourself out there to be acknowledged as a good player’” he says.

“But I’m sat at home now with three kids and a partner and a modest house. I wouldn’t have any of that if it wasn’t for St Helens. Going to Australia might have jeopardised that. You can’t put a price on happiness and I have always been happy.

“Why risk jeopardising your happiness for a few extra quid, that is what it boiled down to. The only sticking point would have been to go and prove myself over there. But some things are meant to be and I don’t think there will be any more opportunities now.”

Odds stacked against England: Alex Walmsley fired up for World Cup fight

Alex Walmsley on future playing days

Walmsley says he wants to play on for as long as his body allows him to, and expects to have a good few years left yet given his relatively late entrance into the professional ranks.

“I didn’t come into the professional game until I was 22 years which will probably give me an extra few years,” he adds.

“I played amateur and went to university. Personally I didn’t put my body through the same things that the modern Super League player puts himself through at 18, 19 years old.

“I’ve got a few years left in the body yet. The successes we have had in the last few years drives your hunger and desire even more. We want to do something that nobody has ever done. And to do that you have to drive yourself physically and mentally to be the best. And I’m enjoying that.

“A happy fighter is a dangerous fighter and that is true in any field you are involved with. I’m at a good club with a good set of lads who make that quite easy to do.”

PODCAST: Alex Walmsley on turning down NRL, World Cup pressure & John Kear influence

FOLLOW: Keep up with all the latest on the Love Rugby League mobile app and podcast