Oliver Gildart set for emotional DW Stadium farewell

Oliver Gildart is braced for an emotional final game at the DW Stadium – but he has left the door ajar for a possible return to Wigan.

Wednesday, 22nd September 2021, 11:22 am
Oliver Gildart is leaving Wigan for Wests

The centre is leaving his hometown club at the end of this season to move to Michael Maguire’s Wests Tigers.

While his full attention is on finishing this campaign well before his NRL switch, he hasn’t ruled out a return to the Warriors at some stage.

“You never say never, I’ve signed at a new club and I’ll be doing everything I can for them,” said the 25-year-old. “But this is where I grew up, it’s all I’ve known, it’s got a special place in my heart so we’ll see how it works out.

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Oliver Gildart and England legend Jamie Peacock at Hindley ARLFC last week as part of a Ronseal community initiative

“Some of the best memories of my life have been here and I want to make the most of my time left, and hopefully create a couple more.”

Gildart progressed through the academy ranks at Wigan, bursting onto the scene in 2015 and playing in his first Grand Final in only his seventh senior game.

He won titles in 2016 and 2018, sandwiching a World Club Challenge victory against Cronulla, and is desperate to add another trophy to his haul before he leaves.

“We’ve done well to secure fourth, we’ll admit it’s not been the greatest of seasons, but it’s party-time now and we think this is what will bring the best out of us,” he said.

“There are quite a few players who have come through and haven’t won a trophy here, they’re desperate for success and – with that – there are lads who have played and won in Grand Finals before.

“We’ve not been attacking brilliant, and as outside backs it’s not nice because we want to be scoring tries, but when it comes down to these big games they’re often won on defence and it’s something we pride ourselves on. To keep Castleford to nil at their place, Hull too, is an unbelievable effort, not a lot of teams will go and do that and that’s what gives us confidence.

“When it comes to these games it often comes down to effort things, and we have that in abundance in our team.

“I’ve just been trying to concentrate on playing but this week will probably be a bit different, I can imagine it being pretty emotional, with my last game at the DW.

“But in terms of leaving, I think it’ll hit me properly when I do leave at the end of the season.”

Gildart was speaking to the Wigan Observer as part of Pride in the Community, an initiative launched by Ronseal, the UK & Ireland’s premier woodcare brand, to give back to grassroots rugby league communities