In arguably the biggest transfer in Women’s Super League history, former Wigan captain Gemma Walsh has signed for bitter rivals St Helens.
Walsh has captained the Warriors since their formation, leading them to Grand Final glory in 2018 as they defeated Leeds Rhinos to lift their first major trophy.
However, Wigan endured a difficult 2019 season as they failed to compete with the top three of Castleford, Leeds and Walsh’s new club St Helens.
The 36-year-old former England skipper announced in October she would be departing the Warriors but remained coy on her next destination; up until now.
Speaking to Serious About RL’s women’s reporter CJ Adams-Richardson, Walsh said: “I’m really excited that I’m going to be signing for St Helens.
“Playing and captaining Wigan was a dream come true for me. I’m a Wiganer through and through and to be able to say that I won the Grand Final playing for the team I love was probably one of the greatest achievements in my career.
“I’m sad how my time ended at Wigan. I really thought after we had achieved what we had in 2018 the club would kick on, but the whole 2019 season was an uphill struggle with things internally that was out of the players control.
“I hope the girls get the support they deserve next season.”
The move to St Helens will see skilful stand-off Walsh play alongside her wife Emily Rudge, who is the current England captain.
Speaking about her partner’s reaction to the news, Walsh said: “Emily is excited for my move and fully supports me.
“It will be much easier in our personal life too. I’ve seen first-hand how much the club value their women’s team and I’ve heard nothing but positives from her, so the decision was very easy for me to make.
“Saints play a really attacking style of rugby and I’m looking forward to being a part of this great club and I’m buzzing to get in and start pre-season.”