Wire timing right for Kurt Gidley


Warrington’s signing for 2016 Kurt Gidley believes the time was right for him to experience Super League and leave Australia after 15 years with the Newcastle Knights.

Gidley debuted for the Knights in 2001 and spent his whole NRL career there, eventually rising to captain the club in 2009.

Gidley’s older brother, Matt, had four years at St Helens and scored 48 tries in 123 appearances. The 33-year old is hoping to emulate the feat of his brother and close friends and former teammates Andrew Johns and Danny Buderus, who all had spells in Super League.

“Matt had a great time at St Helens, he had some really good success there and made some great mates,” Gidley said.

“He signed for two years and stayed for four so that shows how much he enjoyed it.

Danny Buderus is one of my closest mates and he had a great time at Leeds also.

“I’ve been here to the UK four times, two times playing and two times on holiday. I’ve played footy here a couple of times.

“I love the history about the place to start with, doing the touristy parts of the UK and Europe.

“So all that was pretty appealing for me to come back, but also it brings a new challenge football-wise for me.”

Gidley played in the 2002 World Club Challenge against Bradford and also represented Australia in the 2009 Four Nations, which was played on British soil.

The fullback has tremendous experience in the NRL,  and at Origin and international level, and hopes to bring his leadership and wisdom to the Wolves.

“I’ve always been enthusiastic, I’ve always been a good communicator around teams,” Gidley said.

“[I’ll] hopefully motivate guys on the field and around training, bring some leadership.

“All those little bits and pieces have been part of my personality my whole career.”

A Newcastle junior and one-time apprentice butcher, Gidley became part of the furniture at Hunter Stadium because of his long service.

He was there with the transition at end of the Andrew Johns era, and Brian Smith’s controversial time in charge, and then the rocky recent period under the ownership of Nathan Tinkler and with Wayne Bennett as coach.

The Knights endured a disastrous 2015 season, finishing with the wooden spoon with just eight wins from 24 matches.

Head coach Rick Stone was sacked with Nathan Brown to replace him at the helm in 2016.

Gidley believes now was the right time for him to leave Newcastle.

“I didn’t want to stand in the way of some of the younger guys that have been coming through the grades and deserve to play first-grade,” he said.

“For me, it was time to move on and time to experience a new club, new teammates, new staff and in a whole different country.

“It was not exactly the way I wanted to finish with some of the things that happened this year, and with the results we had it was a pretty poor season.

“But that’s in the past now and nothing can be changed there.

“I still finished on the way that I wanted to, I didn’t have to retire through injury.

“I played with 250th game at home and had some great memories on that.

“There’s some great young players at Newcastle and that was part of my reason that it was time to move on.

“Let the next generation come through and the fans to support those guys.”

Gidley, who can fill in at fullback, scrum-half and stand-off, is excited about joining Warrington and playing in front of a packed Halliwell Jones Stadium.

The veteran is keen to play for the next two years, which is a one-year contract with the option of a second year.

“It’s great to play in front of huge crowds back in Australia but they don’t just have the same… they’re definitely passionate, it’s just a different feel over here,” he said.

“I guess it comes from a different culture. They make up songs, good and bad, and that’s all part of the passion that they show.”