Hull KR win race to sign Warrior Goulding

Wigans Darrell Goulding and Matty Smith make a tackle.

Wigans Darrell Goulding and Matty Smith make a tackle.

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HULL KR have won the race to sign Wigan centre Darrell Goulding.

The 26-year-old will join the Robins in November ahead of the 2015 campaign.

Craig Sandercock’s outfit are thought to have beaten off competition from Salford to land Goulding’s signature.

An official confirmation was released on Tuesday morning.

Goulding is out of contract at the end of this season. His agent, Frank Endacott, recently visited the UK when it is understood his deal with the Robins was finalised.

The Warriors are thought to have offered him a new deal.

But because of the constraints of the salary cap, they couldn’t match the money being offered by the Robins, who see him as a marquee signing for next season.

His exit will prompt speculation about a replacement, but Wigan are well stocked in the three-quarters.

Anthony Gelling and Dan Sarginson started in the centres last Friday night, and Iain Thornley is expected back from injury later this year. Joel Tomkins has also returned and, though he is seen as a forward by Shaun Wane, he played centre in his last season with Wigan in 2011 and also in union.

Ashton-raised Goulding has had a long association with his hometown club.

A former St Pat’s junior, he emerged from the academy system and made his first-team debut in 2005 - he would have been due a testimonial next season had he extended his stay at Wigan.

After spending his early career on the fringes, he made a successful switch to the wing in 2010 to help the Warriors to Grand Final glory and later that year toured Down Under with England’s Four Nations squad.

After falling out of favour the following season, he was reinstated to a starting centre spot by Wane in 2012 and won the double with his hometown club last year.

He is not the only Wigan player who has been linked with a move elsewhere.

The Evening Post revealed how Hull FC want prop Scott Taylor. Wigan have taken out an option on his contract for 2015, but that has done little to quell speculation the former Hull KR enforcer may be heading back to his home city at the end of this season.