DARRELL Goulding is resigned to never playing for Wigan again – admitting it would need “a miracle” for him to feature in their Grand Final charge.
The 26-year-old, who moves to Hull KR at the end of the season, has just returned to full training after a knee operation which cut short his campaign.
And with Dan Sarginson and Anthony Gelling in sterling form, he knows there is little possibility of adding to the 174 appearances he has made for his hometown club.
Wigan play a semi-final next Friday, with a place at Old Trafford at stake.
Goulding said: “This week is the first time I have run in weeks, since my operation.
“I would have loved to have finished my time here on a high, with a Grand Final, but it’s not to be.
“It’d need a miracle to play again now. Even if there was an injury or suspension, I still think it’d be a risk to put me in, having not played so long – they’d more than likely adapt the team another way and put a backrower at centre instead.
“It’s a bit strange, knowing I’m leaving this year, but Wigan have been great with me to make sure I’m right for pre-season with Hull KR.”
Goulding is currently in his 10th season with his hometown club, having debuted as a 17 year-old in 2005.
He played in both of Wigan’s Grand Final and Challenge Cup victories last year, having also featured in the 2010 title-decider and in two World Club Challenge matches.
And while he admits he will be sad to leave, he reckons Wigan are in safe hands with their current centres, Sarginson and Gelling.
“They’re both doing a brilliant job,” he said. “They give the team so much in the yardage they make and what they bring to the team.
“They can be frustrating at times, but they’re still both young and the mistakes will iron out. Once they get experience they’ll be challenging as the best centre partnership in Super League.”
Warriors full-back Matty Bowen has been fined £1,000 by the RFL for breaching its social media policy.
He was found guilty of minor misconduct, with £500 of the punishment suspended until the end of the 2015 season.
It is unclear what Bowen wrote which prompted the RFL to act.
He has public Twitter and Instagram accounts but generally steers clear of controversy, using them to communicate with players and post pictures of his travels.
WIGAN legend Bill Ashurst will launch his autobiography, Tries and Prayers, at the DW Stadium on Tuesday, October 7. He will speak at the event, along with league greats Jim Mills, Mike Nicholas, Andy Gregory and Alex Murphy. All are welcome.