Plenty of English talent from Super League has been heading down under recently with Wigan Warriors’ Morgan Smithies following the likes of Kai Pearce-Paul and Will Pryce, but now the latest to head to Australia is Warrington Wolves’ Riley Dean.
The half-back featured for the Wire last season as well as having loan stints with Featherstone Rovers and Castleford Tigers, but now the 22-year-old will head to Australia to pursue an opportunity.
Warrington Wolves confirmed the news with the following statement: “Warrington Wolves can confirm that Riley Dean has left the club by mutual agreement to pursue a playing opportunity in Australia.
“The 22-year-old half-back came through the club’s Academy ranks and made 10 first team appearances for the Wire.
“We thank Riley for his efforts and wish him well for the next chapter of his career down under.”
Dean shone for Featherstone early in the season and clearly showed that he was above Championship level and when Warrington recalled him he was sent on loan to struggling Castleford Tigers where he offered some youth and change of pace in their halves.
Upon his return to Warrington he did get game time but he’s now made the decision to head down under to Australia meaning he won’t be playing under new head coach Sam Burgess.
It was a rollercoaster season in 2023 for Warrington culminating in a playoff loss to St Helens but not before the sacking of Daryl Powell despite the club having won their first eight games of the season. It was followed by a poor run of form and a loss to Wakefield Trinity saw Powell depart.
Burgess was recruited swiftly and now joins the club to take on pre-season but Dean won’t be part of his plans it is now confirmed following today’s news.
New head coach Burgess had spoke with the press this week for the first time since taking on his role and explained how he wasn’t a gamble for the club, something he said speaking to Sky Sports.
“I don’t think [it is a gamble by Warrington],” said Burgess, “It is probably best to revisit that question in six months’ time.
“The proof will be in the performance. I am a first-time coach, that is the reality of the situation, but I don’t lack self belief.
“I have got a good grasp of what is going on and the playing squad are in good order, they just need a bit of tidying up. I think I can help there.
“It will be authentic to myself and it will be adaptable on the run but I am just excited to get the team in and get my hands on them,” added Burgess.