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Ellis goes West - Australian Rugby league News
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globalrugbyleague - Fri, 08 Feb 2008 09:22:00 GMT

Great Britain forward Gareth Ellis is set to leave Leeds Rhinos at the end of the season to play in the National Rugby League.

The former Wakefield Wildcats second rower has agreed to a three-year deal with Wests Tigers and is looking forward to making his debut in the toughest rugby league competition in the world.

““This has been a life-changing decision based on my personal career goals to play at the elite level in both Super League in the UK and the NRL in Australia, complemented by International honours,’’ Ellis said.

“Leaving Leeds Rhinos will be a massive wrench and my focus for the rest of the 2008 season will be to help my colleagues on the playing and coaching staff to achieve the club’s objectives of winning the World Club Challenge, the Challenge Cup and the Grand Final.

“Then, hopefully, to receive the invitation to play a part in England’s bid to lift the World Cup in Australia in the autumn.

“I then want to mount the personal challenge of proving myself in the NRL with the Wests Tigers, who have impressed me with their ambition to repeat their Grand Final success of 2005.”

Former Wests Tigers captain Mark O’Neill who played against Ellis in the English Super League described him as the ‘best player in the English Super League.’

““Gareth has the ability to bust a tackle, he has a great offload, and defensively he is very good. He has the complete package.’’

Ellis is coming off the four-year contract he signed when he joined Leeds from the Wildcats in 2004.

Former St Helens and Wigan Warriors coach Ian Millward told SuperLeague.co.uk that Ellis would have little if no difficulty adapting to the Australian game.

"If there were three English players you'd want to bring out here, they would be Ellis, James Roby and Jamie Peacock.”

Ellis will become the first Great Britain forward to switch to the NRL since Adrian Morley joined roosters eight years ago.

GARETH ELLIS FACT FILE

Date of Birth: May 3, 1981

Career:

Wakefield Trinity Wildcats: 1999-2004 (112 games, 25 tries)

Leeds Rhinos: 2005-08 (93 games, 23 tries)

Great Britain: 19 Tests (3 tries)

England A: 4 games, 1 try

Yorkshire: 1 game, 1 try - Read More, Here