The grass is greener for workhorse Raider
Elliott Whitehead arrived as a Pommy.
Now he wants to call Australia home.
The Raiders ultimate' 'Iron Man' - who has incredibly missed just two games in five seasons - has declared he wants to retire in Canberra.
Ahead of the Raiders home game against the Warriors on Saturday afternoon, Whitehead says he and his English partner Grace are in the process of applying for permanent residency.
The 31-year-old from Bradford in the UK said that his previous bouts of homesickness have been conquered by a love for the Green Machine.
Watch The 2021 NRL Telstra Premiership Live & On-Demand with No Ad-Breaks During Play. New to Kayo? Try 14-Days Free Now >
"I'd love to retire here,'' Whitehead, who arrived at the Raiders in 2015, said.
"As long as I'm playing well, I don't see why I would want to go home.
"It (homesickness) did play a role in my first two years that I came here, but I've got over that now.
"I was just being stubborn in my head. Because I had always said I will always go back home, but I feel like Canberra is my home now and there are times when you miss home.
"But I've learnt you go home and not too much changes and I still speak to my mum every other day.
"My partner is English and we're happy here, we're just waiting to get residency now and as soon as we get that we'll be buying our first home.
"I'm staying - so tell (Raiders CEO) Donny (Furner) I need some more years.''
Off-contract at the end of 2022, Whitehead has recently begun conversations with the Raiders to re-sign.
Undeniably he's proven invaluable for coach Ricky Stuart.
In a phenomenal achievement and powerful indication of his amazing durability and stamina, Whitehead's average game time over 125 appearances for the Raiders is currently 80-minutes, according to the Fox Sports Lab.
Left gutted after the Raiders grand final loss in 2019 and the club's preliminary final defeat at the end of last season, Whitehead said the Raiders were playing with a clear intent on positioning themselves to achieve their ultimate reward in 2021.
"We've proven that over the last two years, we've been there or thereabouts and with another year with halves Jack (Wighton) and George (Williams) together and Josh Hodgson coming back and the recruitments that we've made, I think we can win it (premiership),'' Whitehead said.
"I thought with all the challenges through the season it was a good season overall and we just let ourselves down in that final game.
"We've got a good chance to rectify that.
"I don't think we'll have as many challenges as we did last year with the travel and I think that will be a major factor.''
Originally published as The grass is greener for workhorse Raider