Ex-Wigan Warriors star Gareth Hock plots route into coaching

Gareth Hock spent most of his playing career with Wigan
Gareth Hock spent most of his playing career with Wigan

Gareth Hock is hoping to stay in rugby league - as he prepares to take his first steps into coaching.

The former Wigan favourite has been considering his options since deciding to his retire from playing last week.

And while fans won't see the 35-year-old on the pitch anymore, he wants to remain in the game.

"I'm applied to do my level two coaching," he said. "I've been thinking about it for quite a while, I think I'd do well, especially working with the forwards and giving them a bit of aggression and getting them fired up.

"I know it takes time and you have to gain experience but I think I'd have the respect of the players, and I think I've a lot to offer."

Hock says he has been overwhelmed by the messages he has received from former team-mates, opponents and fans since deciding to quit. He had most recently been playing for Leigh in the Championship.

"It had been on my mind for a while. I was just kidding myself - I didn't feel myself," he said.

"I could have dragged it on to the end of next year but it wouldn't have been to a standard I was happy with, and I didn't want to be an average Joe after the career I've had.

"It was hard telling everyone and since then it's all been a bit emotional, to be honest.

"I never cry but I was getting all these texts and nice messages, and it got to me."

Hock broke into the Wigan side in 2003 and spent nearly a decade with his hometown club - going onto become a full international - before moving on to Widnes, Salford, Featherstone and Leigh.

"I've got loads of highlights - and a couple regrets," he said. "I regret leaving Wigan, I should never have gone.

"They came in for me again before I signed for Barrow (this year) and I regret not going back, and finishing my career there.

"And I regret not going to Parramatta when I had the chance. You look at John Bateman and the impact he's having, and I think, 'If that was me a few years ago...'

"But you make the decisions you think are right at the time and I'm happy with what I've done."

Hock played alongside some star players at Wigan, Great Britain and his other clubs but doesn't hesitate to pick out the best he has lined-up next to.

"Sean O'Loughlin, easy question," he said. "I've played alongside some great players, but Lockers is a different level."