Matt King crosses for a try for the Melbourne Storm in the 2007 National Rugby League grand final against Manly at Telstra Stad
Matt King crosses for a try for the Melbourne Storm in the 2007 National Rugby League grand final against Manly at Telstra Stad

Matt heads off

By ADAM HICKS sport@northernstar.com.au AS Bill Lawry would say, 'He's gone!' Star Melbourne Storm centre Matt King leaves Australia tomorrow to play out his rugby league career with UK Super League club Warrington.

"It's going to be a pretty big adventure," he said yesterday.

After two months of grand final- winning celebrations, end-of-season trips, weddings, catch-ups and good- byes, the former Casino junior said the reality of changing hemispheres was kicking in.

"This week the butterflies have hit," he said. "It was always four weeks or three weeks, but then it was four days. There are definitely a few nerves but I'm confident I've made the right decision.

"I'll see my career out over there." King said he had signed the four-year deal because of the possibilities that came with living abroad.

"It's about lifestyle more so than the footy," he said. "This is a chance to see a lot of the world. There's only a couple of years left in me playing and I have to make the most of that opportunity. I'm in a good position to go over there and travel and still do something I love."

His decision to leave was made easier by his stellar performance, which included a grand final try, in the Storm's premiership team.

"I think the way things went over the last year in Melbourne makes it a lot easier to leave. It was a fairy-tale to finish that way," he said.

"I have not regrets. I'm confident I made the right decision."

The first commitment of King's contract is a Boxing Day exhibition match that is usually played in snow.

"I'm expecting some cold weather," he said. "I knew I was going into that when I accepted it. It will take a while to get used to it."

But the cold start should be made easier by the new team-mates he is yet to meet.

"I'm pretty excited that I get to make 30 new mates (at the club) and start a new chapter in my life that, hopefully, I'll get to look back on fondly like all the others," he said.



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