Burgess excited to be returning home

Joe Burgess left Wigan with an appearance in last season's Grand Final
Joe Burgess left Wigan with an appearance in last season's Grand Final

Joe Burgess has not ruled out another crack at the NRL – but wants to win silverware with Wigan first.

He is returning to the club for 2017 after a season away in the NRL.

Burgess, 21, has signed a three-year deal and becomes the Warriors’ first recruit for next season.

He said: “I’m proud to say that I had a go at the NRL. It didn’t go perfectly to plan and I’d definitely consider giving it another go but, for now, I’m looking forward to coming home.

“I really want to win some silverware with my hometown club and that is definitely the aim when I return.

“I’m also looking forward to enjoying some of my mum’s cooking!”

Burgess - who debuted in 2013 - became a fans’ favourite at his hometown club, where he scored 52 tries in 58 games.

When he departed he spoke about his desire to return but he is coming back sooner than expected, cutting short his three-year deal after struggling to crack into the Sydney Roosters side.

He scored two tries on his NRL debut but has figured just three times since, despite Trent Robinson’s side struggling at the foot of the NRL ladder.

Coach Shaun Wane said: “As a coaching group we are thrilled to have Joe back with us for next season. He is a talented young winger and his try-scoring record whilst in the Wigan first team speaks for itself.

“When he left at the end of 2015, Joe was arguably the best winger in the competition and was capped by England.

“A year in Australia will have helped him improve even further and, at the age of 21, he has his best years ahead of him. The players and staff look forward to welcoming Joe back into the team and wish him well for the remainder of this year.”

Wane has been on the hunt for a new winger since Josh Charnley decided to leave at the end of the season to switch codes with Sale Sharks.

Rugby manager Kris Radlinski has recently returned from a trip Down Under.

Burgess becomes Wigan’s first signing for 2017, though they are also thought to be in the hunt for ex-player Thomas Leuluai and Canberra forward Frank-Paul Nu’uausala.

Leuluai confirmed in an interview earlier this week he will be finishing his career in England though he insisted he had not signed a deal, and it may not be next season.

Warriors chairman, Ian Lenagan, added: “We were disappointed when Joe decided to leave for the NRL after spending many years developing his talents in the Wigan academy. As with any player that leaves the club, we maintained a good relationship with Joe and made it clear that he would always be welcome back at Wigan if the opportunity should arise.

“When planning for the 2017 season and exploring options to replace Josh Charnley, we acted swiftly when we knew that Joe was available. He remains one of the finest young English talents in rugby league and we believe that his talent will become even more obvious in his next three years at Wigan.

“We are delighted to welcome him back ”

Roosters recruitment manager Peter O’Sullivan said: “Joe joined us excited to have the opportunity to test himself in the NRL and to live in Sydney, but he has cited the challenge of being away from home as an ongoing factor, so we have granted a release for season’s end.

“Looking ahead, we wish Joe all the very best.”