GARETH Hock last night signed a five-year deal with Wigan.
The forward – nearing the end of a two-year doping ban – has penned a contract that will keep him at the Warriors until the end of 2015.
It will tie the former Test star to his home-town club until he is 32, and is likely to see him finish his professional career where it started.
Lenagan – who revealed the news at a fans’ forum at the DW Stadium last night – said: “We are all looking forward to seeing him again next month in a Wigan shirt.
“The contract is a long-term agreement by both the club and Gareth, contingent upon his continuing exemplary performance of the last two years and which allows for Gareth to see out his playing career at Wigan.”
Hock – who turns 28 this September – is now training with Wigan ahead of his return to action from June 24.
And while he was always expected to return to the club where he has spent his professional career – despite recent rumours of interest from Hull FC – the length of his new deal may surprise fans.
But Lenagan said the club had been convinced he has turned his life around, following his suspension for taking cocaine in June 2009.
He added: “Gareth has worked tirelessly to get his life back on track in the last two years and has shown his commitment to his rehabilitation, to his rugby league career and to Wigan Warriors.”
The news comes just a week after Man of Steel Pat Richards signed a new contract – which followed long-term deals for Liam Farrell, Lee Mossop, Darrell Goulding, Joel and Sam Tomkins earlier in the season.
Rugby manager Kris Radlinski added: “With regard his current fitness, Gareth is working very hard and we’re positive that not long after the deadline passes, he will be ready to play again.”
FULL STORY IN THE WIGAN EVENING POST (WEDNESDAY) ...