PROMISING Wigan forward Connor Farrell has joined Widnes on a season-long loan.
The 22-year-old may have struggled for a place at the Warriors, with four England backrowers in Shaun Wane’s squad - his brother Liam, Joel Tomkins, Sean O’Loughlin and John Bateman.
As part of the deal, he has extended his contract with his hometown club to 2018.
Farrell said: “The move came about quite quickly. I was in training camp with Wigan and Shaun Wane pulled me to one side and said Widnes have come in, and straight away I wanted to go.
“Liam always had good things to say about Widnes, and I’ve spoke to Dom Crosby, Logan Tomkins and Willie Isa and they all said it’s a great club.
“I’m 22 now and I need to get more game time in Super League. My focus now is playing well for Widnes.
“They’ve always been a team I’ve watched knowing some of the players that play here. I like the style with the way Kevin Brown and Joe Mellor play and from speaking to Denis, it sounds like something I’ll fit in to. There’s no reason we can’t be in the top eight, and that’s what I’m here to help the club achieve.”
Farrell made his Super League debut in 2014 and featured eight times for Wigan in 2015.
Warriors chairman, Ian Lenagan, said: “Connor is a good young player who needs to be playing rugby league regularly at a competitive level and the current shambles of Reserves/Dual-Registration does not allow that opportunity. We believe this move will help Connor achieve more senior game time which will help him improve as a player and allow him the chance to show his capabilities regularly on the Super League stage.
“Connor has a major future at the Wigan Club and we have extended his contract until the end of 2018 to reflect the year away. Connor is determined to have a long-term successful career at Wigan and agrees that this is the right opportunity for the next stage of his career development.”
He said Farrell’s development was in safe hands with Wigan legend Denis Betts.
The Vikings coach said: “We’ve been looking for replacements for Danny Galea and in Connor, we feel that we’ve found the best quality player available to do that.
“He’s still young, he’s got a great desire to be successful and he’s very solid defensively. He’s got four international back-rowers ahead of him at Wigan, so he comes here to fight for his spot and it’s good to put that pressure on him.”
As well as a total of 10 first appearances for Wigan, Farrell has played 21 times for Workington and three times for South Wales Scorpions.
He is the second Wigan player to go on loan this season after Ryan Hampshire moved to Castleford.