So, the worst kept secret in rugby league has been confirmed as Wigan Warriors today announced the signing of free agent Zak Hardaker on a four-year contract. Currently serving a fourteen month ban for taking recreational drugs during the season, the 26 year old will be free to start training with the club in September and will be hoping that, when he returns to playing in 2019, he can rescue his career.
It was merely days before Castleford’s maiden Super League Grand Final when news of Hardaker’s failed drugs test emerged and he himself has admitted that he felt personally responsible for his club’s defeat last October. Suspended by the UK Anti-Doping authorities immediately, it wasn’t until February that Castleford opted to part company with the former Leeds Rhinos full back and until the end of April when it was announced he had a fourteen month ban, backdated to September last year.
Wigan have recently announced that Sam Tomkins will be leaving the club at the end of the season which has freed up the number one jersey for Hardaker for 2019 and the Warriors’ fans will be hoping that he can conjure up the form which saw him win the Man of Steel award in 2015 and be nominated for the same accolade last season.