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The Road Less Travelled
English Super League fans know the name Shaun Ainscough. For the uneducated, he is just another bloke preparing for a season in country rugby league.
Ainscough’s route to the South City Bulls in Wagga Wagga was a little different to the players he will battle in the upcoming season.
The Englishman turned down a new contract with the Bradford Bulls to test himself. To see if he has what it takes to make it all the way to the bright lights of the National Rugby League.
If travelling 16900 kilometres from Yorkshire to Sydney (the hub of all things rugby league) wasn’t enough, Ainscough and his young family made the 4 and a half hour drive to Wagga Wagga.
Its hardly the road young footballers would usually choose. But Ainscough is willing to make the most of his opportunity at the Bulls. The ones of the South City variety.
"Yeah massive move. Turned down the chance to stay in Super League to see if I can make a name for myself over here” Ainscough told FootySocial.
“If not [make it in the NRL], I go home a much better player".
He isn’t the little brother of a South Sydney superstar and he isn’t a proven international like Gareth Ellis. But at least he is here and willing to improve his chances of hooking an NRL contract.
Ainscough burst onto the scene in 2009 with some impressive performances for the Wigan Warriors. The nuggetty winger bagged sixteen tries in his first ten performances for the English giants.
"I never really thought about it [Playing in the NRL] to be honest.
“Until I made the move. It would be great to do it but its a massive ask. First I need to establish myself in Wagga and build up to something like that. Would be great.
“But making it? Well that’s another thing".
Peter Sterling, the Mortimers, Greg Brentnall and Jamie Soward all came from the state’s largest inland city.
If nothing else, Ainscough has picked the perfect place to ply his trade.
"Yeah all good. Great set of lads. Only had two sessions with them but they made me feel welcome” Ainscough said of his new colleagues.
“…And its one of the nicest towns I've been to.
“The residents are so welcoming and I never been treated as well as I have here".