It was Tuesday afternoon when the email came through to Luther Burrell's solicitor: 'Contract terminated by mutual consent.' That was the moment when the weight lifted off his shoulders. No more pretending. He was set free to return to the sport he loves.
Burrell has endured an ill-fated year in rugby league with Warrington. He told his bosses last month that he wanted to leave and has since been caught in a series of complex contract negotiations.
Team-mates were left asking questions: 'Where's Luther? Has he gone AWOL?' Now he is finally ready to break his silence and has a message for potential suitors.
Luther Burrell has endured an ill-fated, complicated year in rugby league with Warrington
He told his bosses last month that he wanted to leave and negotiations have been complex
'It's just over a year since I joined Warrington and, during that time, I've played a handful of games,' he says. 'Before that I was playing 30 games a year for Northampton in the biggest competitions.
'There has to come a point where you look at the situation honestly and ask: how much more can you take of this? I was doing everything I could but the opportunities just weren't presenting themselves. I was at a club with massive budgets and a lot of depth and they didn't want to gamble on a guy who had just come over from union. It just didn't work out.
'The paperwork has all been signed. That's it. I'm a Warrington fan now. I'm a proud man and it hurts me that it didn't work out, because I believed I was good enough. I've missed playing 80 minutes of rugby with my boys. Adverse times. Winning. Losing. Bouncing back.
'I thank Warrington for the opportunity — they invested a lot in me — and I thank the boys there who have always had my back. But now it's time to move on.
'I want to come back to union. I'm so hungry. I'll go on to the open market and hopefully someone will be fishing for a centre; 12 or 13. Just give me the call and I'll be there tomorrow morning. My boots are already in the car.'
Now he is finally ready to break his silence and has a message for potential suitors
A Warrington press release announcing Burrell's departure is imminent. He has spent the quiet days training by himself. He has been hitting personal bests in the gym and has been on long runs through the Pennines. Months were spent adapting his shape and skills to the demands of league and he says he is in the shape of his life.sonos sonos One (Gen 2) - Voice Controlled Smart Speaker with Amazon Alexa Built-in - Black read more
'Even though I wasn't in the team, I was still sticking around to do my extras after the team run,' he says. 'It would have been easy