WARRINGTON’S Chris Bridge has emerged as a surprise target for Wigan Warriors.
The 30-year-old has enjoyed a testimonial with the Wolves, and a move to their close-rivals – so late in his career – may surprise some onlookers.
Coach Shaun Wane has previously favoured younger recruits, though he did make an exception for Australian full-back Matty Bowen.
But it’s understood the Warriors are monitoring Bridge’s progress and may look to add him to their ranks if he is available.
The Ireland internationals has played in the halfback roles but is most at home at centre.
Coach Wane has previously said that, while he wasn’t looking to bolster a specific position, he always remains on the look-out for players who he feels can improve his squad.
Wigan’s interest – while tentative at this stage – may prompt some to suggests Dan Sarginson will leave before the end of his contract expires at the end of 2016.
The former London Broncos ace is wanted by rugby union and NRL outfits.
But Sarginson is thought to be committed to seeing out his deal with Wigan, which was extended to the end of next year after the club exercised an option in their favour. Wane also has centres Iain Thornley and Anthony Gelling in his squad, as well as teenage prospect Oliver Gildart.
Gelling and Thornley are both currently sidelined with injury – Joel Tomkins is filling the right centre berth – but are plotting returns to action over the summer.
Meanwhile, Sam Tomkins’ return to Wigan has formally been sealed after the NRL ‘backflip’ deadline passed without incident.
Tomkins had revealed his move back to England was dependent on his current club, NZ Warriors, securing replacement Roger Tuivasa-Sheck.
The Sydney Roosters No.1 had agreed to move to Auckland in 2016, but under NRL rules, contracts were not registered until today, giving players a chance to change their mind.
There had been no suggestion Tuivasa-Sheck considered a backflip – indeed, he had denied speculation of the sort – but now that option has passed, it ensures Tomkins’ move back to Wigan won’t face any late hitch.
“There is still a clause in my contract with Wigan which says my release from the Warriors is conditional on Roger arriving here, as technically, he still has until the round 13 deadline to change his mind,” Tomkins revealed in his New Zealand Herald column last month.
Tomkins travelled to Perth last weekend for Warriors’ game against Souths, but missed out on selection after failing a late fitness test.
He will become Super League’s first ‘marquee’ player in 2016, with only £100,000 of his wages counting towards Wigan’s salary cap limit.