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Lenagan: We don’t want Williams to go

George Williams is set to play against Castleford
George Williams is set to play against Castleford

Ian Lenagan insists he wants to keep hold of George Williams amid fresh interest from Down Under.

The Warriors owner and chairman says three clubs are tracking him but is adamant he does not want to lose the England halfback.

Last night, reports Down Under suggested Newcastle Knights were preparing a bold bid for Williams, who is in the first year as a ‘marquee’ player - meaning a portion of his lucrative contract does not count on the salary cap - which Wigan offered him to stave off interest from other clubs.

Lenagan said: “I think at least three clubs who want George but we don’t want him to go.

“And that’s why we signed him to a four-year deal a year ago.

“Put it into perspective, we turned down £400,000 from a UK club last year, which shows you how we value him.

“But the NRL are always going to chase players, and they end up getting tempted. We have to have a conversation with George but we don’t want him to go.”

The England international is due to return from a knee injury against Castleford tomorrow.

Meanwhile, Lenagan says he is “very happy” with the transfer fee Canberra have paid to land John Bateman a year earlier than his contract expires.

He has signed a marquee contract to return to Wigan when his NRL spell is over.

“John wants to come back to Wigan,” said Lenagan.

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