Talking Sport - George is the best overseas centre since Pearl

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EVERYONE would understand it if George Carmont left this year, especially as the dad-of-five wants his children to be closer to their grandparents.

But I really hope he delays his retirement for another year. He may turn 33 this week, but Carmont doesn’t have many miles on the clock, having only started his top-level career at the advanced age of 24 with Newcastle Knights.

He surely has enough left in the tank to play on for another season. Ever since Steve ‘Pearl’ Renouf and Gary Connolly left the club, Wigan have struggled to find a truly classy centre. Carmont is that player. For me, he’s up there with Adrian Lam, Trent Barrett and his current wing man, Pat Richards, as being among the club’s best overseas signings of the Super League era.

THE way Wigan have recovered from a mid-season hiccup and rekindled their majestic form has been great to see.

And it really whets the appetite for their Challenge Cup quarter-final showdown with league leaders Warrington in a little more than three weeks’ time.

Michael Maguire now faces the task of making sure his side doesn’t peak – and dip – before then. Consistency has been the champions’ greatest opponent this year but their hungry, slick and tireless displays against St Helens and Huddersfield suggests they may have now found it.

With Gareth Hock returning from suspension – a comeback which makes their inquiry for ex-Leeds prop Ben Cross even more surprising – complacency in the ranks should not be an issue.

LATICS fans are still waiting for the transfer market to spark into life.

It’s already evident that Charles N’Zogbia will be leaving, and he will go with everyone’s best wishes, not least for his late, great goal against West Ham which threw Wigan such a dramatic lifeline.

Top players can not be blamed for wanting to play in Europe and challenge for silverware, especially when doing so further bolsters their international chances.

It’s to chairman Dave Whelan’s credit that he is realistic about the modern game. No point playing hard-ball. No point digging in his heels, entering in bitter disputes and keeping players who want to leave.

Because reputations count for a lot in football, and – if N’Zogbia follows the route taken by Antonio Valencia and Wilson Palacios, whose departures netted Latics tidy transfer sums – emerging stars who dream of reaching the very top will realise that Wigan provides them with the perfect shop-window for their talents.

WILL Andy Murray reign supreme at SW19?

Will David Haye achieve his dream of heavyweight domination? Probably not, but let’s hope so.

Because nothing makes people smile as much as sporting success stories – not even the great weather – and sadly, we’re not exactly flush with truly great British athletes.