‘New’ partnership goes back years!

Joe Burgess and Oliver Gildart played in the same school team together
Joe Burgess and Oliver Gildart played in the same school team together

Oliver Gildart and Joe Burgess are looking forward to reviving a partnership which trails back several years.

Winger Burgess – back at the club after a season in the NRL – briefly played alongside centre Gildart when the latter broke into the side at the end of 2015.

But the good friends go back much further, having first teamed up together as pupils at St Edmund Arrowsmith RC High School in Ashton.

And Burgess expects their left centre-wing combination to make a smooth start.

“We’ve been good mates for a while so we’ll click very quickly,” said Burgess, who played for both Sydney Roosters and Souths last season. “We played together in the 2015 Grand Final and leading up to it, and we played in the same team at school as well.”

Gildart reflects on their school days fondly.

“I’m younger than Budgie but I played a year above,” said the 20-year-old. “I played a bit at halfback then, and he was on the wing so I used to just kick the ball down field for him to chase!

“That was one of the tricks we had, it got us a few tries.

“I’m looking forward to getting some combinations going with him again.”

Wigan’s starting backline for the new season is also expected to include Lewis Tierney and George Williams.

“We’ve all played alongside each other in the academy coming through, so we know each other’s games well,” added Gildart.