6 Jun 2019

Wigan unveil 2020 signings

Wigan Warriors have unveiled their first signings for 2020 and announced the retention of six current players.

Wigan Warriors have unveiled their first signings for 2020 and announced the retention of six current players.

The reigning Betfred Super League champions have confirmed the captures of Castleford Tigers forward Mitch Clark and Salford Red Devils centre Jake Bibby on three and two-year deals respectively from next season.

On a busy day, the Warriors also re-signed out-of-contract duo Joe Burgess and Tony Clubb, exercised an option to keep Chris Hankinson for 2020 and extended the deals of youngsters Oliver Partington, Morgan Smithies and Jack Wells.

Bibby, 22, who is Wigan-born and played his amateur rugby at Orrell St James, Wigan St Cuthberts and Wigan St Judes, is expected to replace former England centre Dan Sarginson, who is out of contract in October and could move on.

Wigan executive director Kris Radlinski said: “Jake has proven at Salford that he is a high-level Super League performer and competitor.

“The exciting thing for Wigan Warriors, and for Jake, is that we believe he still has room for improvement.

“Jake can play across the backline and, as a Wiganer, it’s great to have him fulfil his exciting potential with his home-town club.”

Bibby, who made his debut for Salford as an 18-year old, said: “It was a no-brainer.

“I remember sitting in that South Stand at the DW Stadium when I was growing up and when you’re a kid it makes you want to play for Wigan.

“Seeing lads I’ve played against at my age like George Williams and Oliver Gildart winning trophies, that kind of spurs you on wanting to do well for yourself and in a team like this.”

Clark, 26, son of former Leeds Rhinos, Featherstone and Bradford hooker Trevor Clark, is in his second season with the Tigers but is out of contract at the end of the year.

Radlinski said: “I believe Mitch is one of Super League’s most destructive forwards and in a very good Castleford side, he has built the reputation as one of the league’s fiercest middles.”

Winger Burgess, 24, who is in his second spell with Wigan, has agreed a 12-month deal while former London Broncos prop Clubb, 31, has signed a new two-year contract.

“Tony is a key member of our group and has the highest respect from his peers in the squad,” said Radlinski.

“He is one of our leaders on and off the field, sets standards for others to follow and he remains one of the competition’s fiercest and toughest front-rowers.

“Joe has ambitions to return to the international set-up. To achieve this, he knows that he has to continue to build on his comeback from a serious knee injury that robbed him of his 2018 season and we’re delighted that he will be doing so in the Cherry and White.”

Centre Hankinson, 25, who joined Wigan from Swinton mid-way through last season, is now contracted for 2020 while prop forward Partington, 20, and loose forward Smithies, 18, have signed four-year deals and back rower Wells, 21, has signed a fresh two-year deal.

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