Three potential destinations for free agent Matty Russell

It’s been an interesting time recently for Matty Russell.

After he opened up last month about past off-field problems and mental struggles, the former Wigan and Warrington winger has since played in every one of Scotland’s Rugby League World Cup games.

But after the Bravehearts exited the tournament at the group stage, Russell will now turn his attentions to finding a club for the 2023 season.

The versatile back is out of contract after departing relegated Toulouse at the end of last season, a campaign in which he showed his undoubted quality in a struggling side.

Once part of a Warrington Wolves side that topped Super League and made a Grand Final, the 29-year-old has valuable experience to go with his qualities.

His availability will no doubt have him on the radar of a number of teams across the top two leagues, but Russell himself will be hopeful that he’ll be playing top-flight rugby league again next season.

With that in mind, here are three Super League teams we think could make a move for the Scotland international.

Warrington Wolves

Russell first joined the Wire back in 2014, after time down under with Gold Coast Titans. With a brief loan spell at Swinton in the mix in 2016, Russell became a key figure for Wire, making just shy of 100 appearances for the Wolves before departing for Toronto in 2018. His ability to play out wide and at fullback make him a reliable and versatile option to bring in, even as a backup. Injuries affected him mentally when at Wire the first time round, so this could be a chance to right the wrongs and return to his old stomping grounds to help a Warrington side push up the Super League table after a disappointing 2022.

Wakefield Trinity

Trinity recruiting Russell would be a move to suit all parties. With the loss of Tom Johnstone to the Catalans Dragons, the Belle Vue outfit have lost one of the most influential wingers in the competition. Russell might not be as acrobatic a player when finishing, but his consistency and experience could see him be a vital asset in this Wakefield team, as they prepare for their first season under new head coach Mark Applegarth. Russell’s ability to make yards coming out of his own end, along with his ability to finish in tight spaces, would make him the perfect replacement for Johnstone.

Hull KR

The Robins approach 2023 with a new man at the helm in Willie Peters and with a number of signings, including the likes of Tom Opacic. This might seem a strange call, given the abundance of talent KR have in the wide areas, but Russell could easily come into this team, an experienced head to take some of the stress off 34-year-old Ryan Hall, whilst keeping an experienced head on the wing. He could also act as cover for the other wingers, and potentially act as cover in order to loan out some of the younger talent to ensure they get the regular game time that they need to develop. At 29, Russell could still have a number of years left in him and Rovers could be the beneficiaries of that.

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