Carmont back in Wigan (and he fancies playing this week!)

George Carmont training at Orrell
George Carmont training at Orrell

George Carmont is back in Wigan.

The Kiwi has returned to England for the first time since his Warriors departure in 2012 to support Micky McIlorum’s testimonial.

George Carmont caught up with Sean O'Loughlin

George Carmont caught up with Sean O'Loughlin

He was at their Orrell training ground yesterday - and is even hoping to make a cameo in Wigan’s friendly at Leigh on Sunday!

Carmont said: “I had a chat to Waney to see if I can get five minutes out on the pitch.

“It’s still unsure at this stage. I’d love to - but I wouldn’t last long, that’s for sure!”

Either way, he will be at the Sports Village on Sunday to support his good friend and former team-mate McIlorum.

I loved my time here. It was a hard decision to leave

“I wouldn’t have missed this for the world,” said the 38-year-old. “We had a really good squad in my time here, and I became pretty close with a lot of the boys, and this is just my way of supporting Micky.

“We had a good relationship, we hit it off straight away - he plays a few pranks and I didn’t want to get on the wrong side of him!

“There are a few boys still here from my time at the club and it’s great to catch up with them.

“Darrell (Goulding) is helping out and Lockers, Faz, Sam, Joel are here, a couple of the other younger players were coming through, so there are plenty of familiar faces.

George Carmont shares a joke with Thomas Leuluai and Shaun Wane

George Carmont shares a joke with Thomas Leuluai and Shaun Wane

“It’s great what they’ve done with the training ground, and there’s a picture up from my time here... it makes you feel like you belong to something. It’s great.”

Carmont became a huge fans’ favourite during five years at Wigan.

He signed ahead of the 2008 season and soon established a potent left-edge combination with winger Pat Richards.

He won the Grand Final in 2010, the Challenge Cup the following season, and after delaying his retirement plans he helped the club claim the league leaders’ shield in 2012 - Shaun Wane’s first year as head coach.

“I’ve got very fond memories of my time here,” said the ex-Newcastle Knights and Samoa centre, who scored 71 tries in 136 appearances for Wigan.

“Honestly, I loved it. It was a hard decision to leave, but I’d been away from home so long - first in Australia and then in England - and it felt it was the right time to move back home.

“My parents missed out on seeing the kids grow up, so I wanted to take them back.

“But it was a hard decision. My partner and kids didn’t want to leave, we all had a great time!

“So any chance I get to come back here, I will.”

Carmont actually played last season for New Zealand Warriors’ reserve team having battled back from a serious knee injury which he had suffered in 2015.

“Two years ago I made a comeback, played a handful of games and did my ACL,” he said. “So last year I managed to get four games, which I wanted to do to show myself I could still run, coming back from a serious injury.

“I managed to get through. My knee’s still not 100 per cent - I’m probably at 70 per cent - but it’s good enough for what I want to do. I’m not planning any more comebacks!”

Carmont has a list of old friends to catch up with during his two weeks back, including Iafeta Paleaaeasina and Harrison Hansen - and hopes to see many Wigan fans at McIlorum’s testimonial on Sunday.

He added: “Micky has been a great servant for the club, so for him to get a testimonial, I’m thrilled for him.”