Hardaker will start training at Wigan Warriors next week

Zak Hardaker is banned until November
Zak Hardaker is banned until November

Zak Hardaker will begin training with his new Wigan team-mates next week.

His 14-month doping ban runs until November 7.

But under UK Anti-Doping rules, suspended players can return to training two months earlier.

Although the 26-year-old will not be able to play until next season, he will get the chance to meet many of his new team-mates, settle into the club and work on his fitness.

Hardaker, a former Steve Prescott Man of Steel winner who played at Leeds and Castleford, has signed a four-year deal with Wigan and will effectively replace Catalans-bound Sam Tomkins.

Tomkins missed Friday’s 30-10 victory against St Helens after withdrawing minutes before kick-off with a knee injury.

But Wane expects him to be fit for the visit of Wakefield on Thursday – a game which could see winger Dom Manfredi play his first senior game in more than two years.