YOU can take the boy out of the country but you can’t take the country out of the boy.
Casino Cougars junior and former Melbourne Storm and current Warrington Wolves star, Matt King has lived by this motto his whole life.
King tasted premiership success at the Storm in 2007 and his Wolves are on track for an English Super League finals appearance this year.
King, 30, has signed a two year contract with the South Sydney Rabbitohs for next season in what could be his last professional rugby league contract.
King confirmed he would be leaving England on the Warrington website yesterday.
“Without a doubt the option to stay here in England was quite an attractive one,” he said.
“Warrington is a club, that at the moment, is close to being the best rugby league club in the country. To leave was no easy decision but we do have a little baby girl we do have to think about now.
Despite his past success which included representative appearances for NSW and Australia, King’s mother and Lennox Head resident Narelle says her son has stayed grounded the whole time.
“Matt will fit in wherever he decides to go because he’s that type of person,” Mrs King said.
“He watched a show at Moulin Rouge in Paris and was interviewed about what he thought and he said ‘it doesn’t compare to going to the Casino Cougars club on the weekend’.
“You can take the boy out of the country but you can’t take the country out of the boy.”
Mrs King believes her son will be a perfect fit at Souths.
“Matt played under (incoming Souths coach and current Wigan Warriors coach) Michael Maguire while at Melbourne and they’ve stayed in touch ever since,” she said.
“He’d also enjoy playing with Greg Inglis again and Michael Crocker.”
Mrs King believes her son will be a success again in the NRL.
“Look at what Mat Rogers has done at the Titans – you never say never,” she said.
Mrs King said multiple-premiership winning Marist Brothers coach Michael Woods played a huge part in King’s rise through the league ranks when he was at the Lismore club.
Woods was recently diagnosed with throat cancer.
“Michael was always there for him when Matt was unsure of his future while playing up here,” Mrs King said.
Rugby League Week broke the story that King would quit Warrington for Souths.
“Ten Tests, nine State of Origins, six-foot-two, 100 kilos, he gives us a lot of versatility in our backs,” Rabbitohs chief executive Shane Richardson said.
“Matt had his time in England and he wants to come home.
“He’s played under Michael Maguire before, he and GI (Inglis are great mates).
“He has the runs on the board and we’re looking forward to welcoming Matt and his young family to South Sydney next season.”
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