Hansen completes Salford Switch

Harrison Hansen

Harrison Hansen

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HARRISON Hansen is a Salford Red Devil.

The 28-year-old moves to the AJ Bell Stadium following 10 seasons in the Warriors first team for an undisclosed fee.

Hansen was due a testimonial at Wigan and Salford have had to pay to release the Samoa international from the final year of his contract.

The second-row forward was keen to join his hometown club, where his father Shane played with a reputation as a fierce enforcer.

Hansen said: “I’ve loved every minute playing for Wigan, it’s been a huge part of my life since I was 15 years old. “To have been part of this special club for so long has been a real honour and I have enjoyed every minute of it. Wigan will always have a special place in my heart and I have so many fantastic memories.”

The Folly Lane amateur coincidentally scored his first Super League try against Salford at The Willows in a 32-16 Warriors victory on July 11 2004, bowing out in the 2013 Grand Final success over Warrington.

“I would like to give a massive thanks to all the fans for their amazing support,” Hansen added.

“I’ve met some great people and made some true friends. To all the players and coaching staff along the way, you have all contributed to the person and rugby player I am today, thank you.”

The Wigan Observer revealed two weeks ago how Salford had made a fresh bid for Hansen as owner Dr Marwan Koukash wants to make the club a trophy-contender within the next two years.

But Hansen’s departure leaves Warriors coach Shaun Wane space under the salary cap should any fresh targets become available.

But there is already fierce competition for places with Liam Farrell, Tony Clubb, Jack Hughes, Greg Burke and John Bateman eyeing spots. Eddy Pettybourne can also play in the second-row.

Warriors boss Shaun Wane said: “Although we are sad to lose Harrison, we are also aware of his desire to join his hometown club.

“Wigan offered him a long term deal to stay but he feels the time is now right for him to move on and take this opportunity with Salford. He has worn the famous Wigan jersey with honour and distinction and we wish him well in this new chapter in his playing career.”

Hansen made 242 appearances for Wigan, scoring 43 tries.

He could face his old team mates when Wigan travel to Salford on May 22, 2014.

Wigan have now obtained transfer fees for four players - Hansen, Gareth Hock, Lee Mossop and Sam Tomkins.

Chairman, Ian Lenagan said: “We have been in discussion with the player over the last few weeks following an approach from Salford for his services and Harrison expressed a strong desire to move on.

“We are obviously disappointed to lose him after nine years of loyal service but, after such loyal service to Wigan, it would have been churlish to have prevented him taking up this opportunity which he so clearly wants to pursue and which is of significant benefit to him.

“Harrison had just one year remaining on his current contract and had indicated that he would leave when his contract was up. Following Salford’s approach, and Harrison’s request to move on, it allowed us to negotiate a substantial transfer fee for someone who would otherwise have left for nothing in 12 months’ time.”