Had things worked out differently for Daniel Mortimer he’d have spent last Sunday playing in front of a thousand-strong crowd instead of preparing for Cronulla’s World Club Series decider against Wigan,
The Sharks squad arrived at Heathrow early on Sunday morning and took up residence at the plush Lensbury Hotel in Twickenham where they’ll stay until heading north to Manchester on Thursday.
But less than 10km down the road at the tiny Trailfinders Club, the London Broncos were hosting Hull KR, on an artificial playing surface which is where Mortimer would have been had Cronulla not called.
“My contract was up at the Gold Coast and I was talking to Hull KR over here and was very close to signing,” Mortimer told AAP.
“Then they were unfortunately relegated from Super League and it looked as if it might fall through and I wasn’t too sure what was happening.
“Then the Sharks came in with an offer and it didn’t take me long to think about it and sign, and I am stoked to be here.
“That’s rugby league for you, fate happens sometimes.”
It was Mortimer’s fourth move since bursting onto the scene as five-eighth at Parramatta in 2009 during the Eels’ fabled run to the NRL grand final.
Although the early and unfair comparisons to Peter Sterling never materialised, Mortimer did win a premiership with the Sydney Roosters in 2013 and has proved himself to be a useful bench player who can cover both halves spots and the hooking role.
With veteran rake Michael Ennis retiring at the end of the season, Mortimer is vying with Fa’amanu Brown and Jayden Brailey for the starting No.9 jersey for Sunday’s clash at the DW Stadium and the NRL opener against Brisbane on March 2.
“I’ll happily play wherever I’m needed,” he said.
“I’ve played in the halves and at at hooker during my career and if that’s where Flanno (Shane Flanagan) wants me then I’m ready.”