Wigan Warriors have strongest squad on paper, reckons Zak Hardaker

Zak Hardaker believes Wigan’s squad is the strongest in Super League “without a doubt”.

Zak Hardaker facing St Helens last year
Zak Hardaker facing St Helens last year

The Warriors have added Jai Field and John Bateman to a squad which reached last season’s Grand Final, only to be edged out 8-4 by St Helens.

And while Hardaker says Saints have assembled a strong squad once again, he believes they are well-equipped to challenge for silverware.

“We’ve got an outstanding squad and I think on paper, the strongest in the league, without a doubt,” said the centre.

“Saints are obviously really strong as well, one to 13.

“If we can pick up where we left off, we will be a really, really good team.”

Wigan leaked an average of just a try a game in their last seven matches of the Super League, clinching the League Leaders Shield but just coming up short in the Grand Final.

“After the disappointment of last year, I’m just really excited. I’m sure the Grand Final defeat will add fuel to the fire for us,” added Hardaker.

“We are never going to be short of scoring tries. Our defence came a long way by the last few games of last season too.”

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Hardaker already knows one of Wigan’s new recruits, Bateman, having played with the ex-Canberra forward in the international side.

“He’s a top competitor,” he said. “Everyone knows just how good he is. He’s gone over to Australia and shown exactly what he can do against the very best over there. He’s earned some top praise.”