Warriors star confirms NRL switch

Oliver Gildart has pledged to end his Wigan career on a high after his move to the NRL was finally announced.

Friday, 28th May 2021, 9:01 pm
Updated Saturday, 29th May 2021, 7:52 pm
Oliver Gildart

After weeks of speculation, the worst-kept secret in the game was confirmed last night, with Gildart moving to Wests Tigers at the end of the season.

And having yet to play for the Warriors this year because of a shoulder injury, the Test centre is determined to leave his hometown club in style.

“I’ve been living my childhood dream playing for my hometown club since the age of 11," he said.

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“I’ll never forget my debut try against Warrington and of course, it doesn’t get much better than playing in front of a packed Old Trafford and scoring a try in a Grand Final win.

“I’ve had the privilege of being surrounded by legends year in year out at this club who have helped me become the person l am today.

“However, it’s been no secret that I’ve wanted to challenge myself over in Australia.

"When Michael Maguire and his team showed interest, it became clear that Wests Tigers is where I want to be in the next stage of my career.

“I owe a lot of credit to my dad, Bill Ashurst and Alan Rimmer for pushing me on in my amateur days at Wigan St Pats.

“And a massive thanks to the fans. You have been outstanding through thick and thin. We can’t wait to have you back in the stands.

“With that said, there is unfinished business to take care of for Wigan this season.

“My priority is to get back to playing my best rugby in cherry and white and finish the season off with another Grand Final ring in front of the fans.”

A product of Wigan's famed Academy, the 24-year-old has been a first team regular since 2016 – making 129 appearances and scoring 61 tries for his hometown club.

The Great Britain and England international is a double Super League winner with Wigan and was also part of the World Club Challenge triumph in 2017.

“Oliver has made it clear for a number of years that he has an NRL ambition," said Warriors executive director Kris Radlinski.

"He has honoured his contact and has served the club and the town tremendously well.

“Young players come to us at 14 years of age and you watch them transition into men.

"The development journey takes you through many highs and lows and there is always a sense of pride when they achieve their goals.

“Oliver should be very proud of what he has achieved at Wigan and in Super League. We wish him well in the next stages of his career and life.”

Warriors have already been linked with Iain Thornley as a possible replacement.

The ex-Warriors junior is back in rugby league with Leigh, after a spell in the 15-man code.

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