Warrington Wolves CEO reveals ‘secret weapon’ in transfer of Wigan Warriors starlet

Warrington Wolves Chief Executive Karl Fitzpatrick has revealed the club’s ‘secret weapon’ in prizing Matty Nicholson from Wigan Warriors during the middle of last season.

The talented back-rower signed a three-and-a-half-year deal at the Halliwell Jones Stadium in June in a move that surprised everyone at the time, none more so than Wigan head coach Matt Peet who questioned the transfer.

Nicholson decided to make the move due to a lack of game time at the Warriors, that despite only turning 19 in July. Peet previously described Nicholson’s decision as ‘surprising’ and ‘very disappointing’.

However, almost six months down the line it has been revealed there was a phone call from an Australian World Cup winner that convinced Nicholson to make the move to Cheshire – and that man is new Wire signing Josh McGuire.

Speaking at a fan’s forum, Warrington CEO Fitzpatrick explained how the situation played out as he sat beside both Nicholson and McGuire.

“Matty had been on our radar since the age of 14,” he said. “We tried to sign him as a scholar and tried again as an academy player so we tracked him throughout and we knew how good he was going to be.

“We were determined to get him, we were chatting earlier that we were surprised he was allowed to go in the last year of his contract at Wigan. When we were made aware we jumped at it and threw everything at it.

“I was talking to Josh (McGuire) about the special kid from Wigan and said ‘If you have a chat with him it may help get it over the line’.

“[I know] his (McGuire’s) experiences at international and Origin level and how they can develop Matty into a full international.”

Nicholson explained his side of the story: “I had seen this Australian number ringing me so I answered and it turned out to be Josh and he was really good, just trying to sell me to Warrington, telling me to come. It was a good chat and obviously I signed a couple of weeks later.

“I’d spoke to Karl Fitzpatrick (Chief Executive) and met Karl before but when Josh rang it sort of sunk in that this was what I wanted to do.”

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