Kris Radlinski reveals how long Wigan Warriors have been chasing Jake Wardle as he describes signing as “coup”

Last night Wigan added another centre to their ranks for 2023.

This comes after the loss of Zak Hardaker mid-season, the loss of Jake Bibby to Huddersfield for next year and the injuries to Iain Thornley all of which has helped see second-rows Willie Isa and Kai Pearce-Paul start in the centres a lot in 2022.

Having signed Toby King on loan from Warrington, the man King was involved in a swap deal with this year has followed him to Wigan.

The man in question is Jake Wardle with the England centre signing a three-year deal to join the Warriors as their star-studded backline completes itself with two star England centres.

On the signing of Wardle, which also saw two Wigan players join Huddersfield in the shape of Jack Bibby and centre Sam Halsall, Head Coach, Matt Peet, commented on the club’s website: “We have high expectations for Jake and look forward to welcoming him and his family into our Club. He is a player we have admired throughout his development and he is a credit to the Huddersfield Giants Academy. We are confident that he will be a great fit for Wigan.”

As aforementioned, Wardle’s arrival sees two departures from Wigan with Sam Halsall and Jack Bibby going the opposite way.

Having progressed through Wigan’s Academy, 21-year-old Halsall made 17 first team appearances for the Warriors, scoring eight tries.

Similarly, prop forward Bibby came through the system and went on to make a single senior appearance – his try-scoring debut against Hull KR in August this year.

On all three players involved in the deal, Executive Director Kris Radlinski, added: “We have been working hard to recruit Jake for a number of years. He is an exciting player who will fit very well into our style of play. For a young England international to commit his long term to the Club is a great coup.

“On one hand we are delighted to recruit Jake, but we are equally saddened to lose Sam. He is a wonderful guy who we all think a lot about but having spent the last two years on loan at various clubs, it is now time for him to start establishing himself as a regular starter.

“Jack is at the start of his journey and if his application and commitment is anything to judge by, he will go on to have a good career.

“We wish Sam and Jack all the best.”

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