Ex-Wigan Warriors ace Anthony Gelling pours cold water on Catalans rumours

Anthony Gelling
Anthony Gelling

Former Wigan Warriors ace Anthony Gelling has moved to end speculation he is headed for Catalans Dragons.

Gelling, who played for Wigan between 2012 and 2017, had agreed a move to join Widnes Vikings from his season-long stint in the NRL with New Zealand Warriors for 2019.

But with Widnes’ relegation from Super League following last season’s qualifiers, Gelling rumours circulated he was set for a return to the top flight, and would link-up with a clutch of former Wigan team-mates.

French media outlet L’Independant reported Gelling’s name appeared on a Catalans document “sent to the French Rugby League Federation on November 23 and distributed to all clubs.”

The report states: “Like Sam Tomkins and Matt Whitley, two other recruits still on vacation, Gelling is stamped “ONGOING” while the other 17 players – including Matty Smith, already in
Perpignan since November 12 – have already their registered license number.”

But Gelling tweeted: "Unfortunately my reason for not being in Widnes isn't as skandulous and exciting as people might be hoping lol. It's simply a Visa complication for my family (partner & kids). They are not eligible for residency in the U.K. It's nobody's fault it's just one of those things."

And Widnes released a statement on Tuesday saying Gelling was expected to report for pre-season training with the Vikings.

It read: “Widnes Vikings are aware of the media speculation regarding Anthony Gelling over the previous 24 hours.

“The Vikings can confirm that Anthony Gelling is a contracted member of the playing squad at Widnes Vikings, and is expected to report for pre-season training ahead of the 2019 season.

"The club are currently taking advice on the matter and can make no further comment at this time.”

Former Warriors team-mates Tomkins, Michael McIlorum, Lewis Tierney and Matty Smith are at the Dragons.

Meanwhile, reports from Down under suggest England star Gareth Widdop is homesick and wants a move back to the UK.

Halifax-born Widdop has never played professionally in England, having come through the ranks at Melbourne Storm after moving to Australia as a teenager.

Widdop joined St George Illawarra Dragons s in 2014.

He missed England’s 2-1 Test Series win over New Zealand after dislocating his shoulder towards the end of the NRL season.

Warriors rugby director Kris Radlinski has previously stated Wigan Warriors could add to their squad for 2019, but Widdop would be able to command a marquee player wage.