Duo head for Wigan Warriors exit
Fringe halfbacks Jake Shorrocks and Josh Woods have departed, the club confirmed last night.
Both were under contract for 2021 but reached agreements to be released from their deals early.
Woods has been linked with Championship newcomers Newcastle Thunder, who will be coached by ex-Warriors prop Eamon O’Carroll in 2021 and have Wigan legend Denis Betts as their rugby director.
Woods, 23, spent the last two seasons on loan at Leigh and his exit from Wigan was not a surprise – he was not given a squad number when they were released last week.
Shorrocks had been included in the list (No.26) but had already been linked with a move away.
He played just two games for Adrian Lam’s side last season and the competition for halfback spots has only intensified for 2021, given the retention of those in front of him plus the capture of Aussie Jai Field.
Wigan were expected to trim their squad for next year following the decision to shelve the reserves competition, while the option of dual-registration – week-to-week loans with lower-league clubs – has also been removed as a Covid-19 precaution.
Warriors executive director, Kris Radlinski, said: “Due to the lack of reserve grade, we had to pursue opportunities elsewhere as both players need to be playing rugby league.
“Jake and Josh are model professionals and everyone at Wigan Warriors would like to thank them both for their efforts at the club.
“We wish them well in the next stage of their careers.”
Academy-product Shorrocks had a whirlwind start to his Wigan career, breaking into the side in 2015 and helping the club march to a Grand Final – only to miss out on Old Trafford at the last minute when captain Sean O’Loughlin returned from injury.
He suffered a serious knee injury early the following season and though he returned to fitness, he never cemented a spot in the Wigan side and had spells with Workington, Swinton and Salford. In total, the 25-year-old made 28 appearances for his hometown club.
Woods played 13 games for the Warriors first team – including kicking a dramatic winning drop-goal in a 13-12 victory against Warrington in 2018.
They follow Joe Burgess, Jack Wells (both Salford), Sean O’Loughlin (retirement), Joe Greenwood (Huddersfield) and Ben Flower (Leigh) in departing from last season’s squad.
Craig Mullen, who was under contract with Wigan but on loan at Leigh, also saw his deal run out - and subsequently signed for the Centurions - while youngster Harry Rushton left to join Canberra.
Frenchman Romain Navarette, who spent last season on loan at Wakefield and hasn’t been given a Wigan squad number for 2021, as well as centre Chris Hankinson have also been linked with moves away, with London among the interested clubs.
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