Leeds Rhinos’ Zak Hardaker sets the record straight about his Wigan Warriors exit

Zak Hardaker is set to make his second debut for Leeds Rhinos this Sunday afternoon against Salford Red Devils.

It’s been a whirlwind few months for the Pontefract-born 30-year-old after swapping Wigan Warriors for Headingley and Hardaker has revealed just how different it has been rejoining the side that gave him that Super League chance.

“It feels a little strange, I’m not going to lie,” Hardaker said.

“Putting on the Rhinos colours was a weird feeling, but driving down Kirkstall Road I was getting little flashbacks of coffee shops I used to go to.

“It was a trip down memory lane, they are a few old faces which is good to see – I’m really happy, there’s a good buzz around the place.”

Hardaker has revealed how his exit from Wigan actually happened, putting the record straight.

“I wanted to leave last year, I asked for a transfer request last year but I did have a year left at Wigan.

“It was a case of my family moving back to Yorkshire which was the reason behind that earlier in the year.

“I had to see the year out and I was more than happy to do that, but it got tricky towards the last few weeks and I made them aware I was looking to leave.

“It unfolded like that, but I didn’t want to leave halfway through the season but it just unfolded that way.

“It’s like fish and chip paper for me now they (Wigan) could have worded it every way they wanted it to.

“I was wary that it would come across like I’ve done something bad and I really haven’t.

“When I was talking to clubs that came up but it was fine – I’ve had my fair share of that over the years but the right people know what’s happened and what hasn’t happened. It’s unfortunate that it happens like that.”

“The call from Gary (Hetherington) when it came out, I was quite surprised.”

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