Cooper to join St George Illawarra
Rugby League, Updated:
Mike Cooper will leave Warrington at the end of the season to join NRL side St George Illawarra after signing a two-year deal.
The 24-year-old has made nearly 120 appearances for the Wolves and will see out the current Super League season before moving to Australia.
He will join a number of Brits who currently ply their trade Down Under, with former St Helens skipper James Graham and the Burgess brothers all playing in the southern hemisphere.
Cooper has made it clear that he wants to return to play for Warrington at the end of his two-year deal with the Sydney-based club but is looking forward to the challenge of moving to another country to continue his career.
"Being a Warrington lad, I'm very proud to have been a part of what the club has achieved over the last couple seasons with the recent success in the Challenge Cup and in reaching the Grand Final," he said.
"The next step for me is to test myself in Australia and gain some experience.
"I'm fully aware it's going to be big learning curve for me. I'll be back at square one again really but it's something that really excites me."
Cooper's brother Jack recently returned from a spell in Australia and Wolves coach Tony Smith hopes that the decision of the loose forward to play in the NRL "will be of benefit to both Mike and this club".