Dan Sarginson insists it was a ‘big call’ to start a new chapter in his career – away from Wigan – in 2017.
Arriving at the DW Stadium from London Broncos for the 2014 season from relative obscurity, he has become a solid and dependable addition to the Warriors ranks.
Wigan’s investment in the Australian-born, London-raised centre proved to be a wise one, with Sarginson earning England honours in 2014.
And despite not lifting silverware yet, Sarginson’s World Club Challenge and Grand Final appearances suggest if medals are what he’s after, they will come at Wigan.
But even though he said he would ‘definitely’ stay at Wigan for the rest of his career if he could, it is easy to forget Sarginson is still only 22 years old.
And like many young men, he has a bucket list of places to live and things to do.
Unlike many young men, he is in a position to tick off items on that list – which Sarginson admits is his motivation for moving to the Gold Coast at the end of the season.
He told the Evening Post: “I’ve said to the club it’s nothing personal at all. If I could stay here for the rest of my career, I definitely would.
“But I’m the type of person who likes change and different challenges, and going out to Australia and playing over there – and playing rugby union – they’re the sort of things that are on my bucket list, if you will.
“Now I’ve signed for Gold Coast I can hopefully tick that off and prove myself over there.”
Sarginson has been quiet over speculation on his future since the start of the season. Concentrating on coming back from a hamstring injury lay-off which saw him miss the back end of last season, he was diplomatic but closed to questions put to him about his contract, which expires at the end of the current season.
And, although he has known for a couple of weeks about his switch, he wanted to wait until the Easter weekend was out the way, which included Good Friday’s 24-12 win over arch-rivals St Helens, before he broke the news.
“Things like this don’t mess with my head. I’ve known for two weeks and it hasn’t affected how I’ve played,” he explained.
“If anything it will make me play better because we’ve not won a trophy yet and that’s my motivation.”
Sarginson certainly knows what disappointment feels like, having been involved in the 2014 Grand Final loss to St Helens and the World Club Challenge loss to Sydney Roosters earlier that season.
And it is that, coupled with it being not just his last season with Wigan, but in Super League, that is providing the motivation for Sarginson to leave with at least one winner’s medal.
“I want to end on a high,” he said.
“We’ve been underdone, been in two Grand Finals which have been good but we’ve lost them both.
“Now we’ve had an amazing start and I want to leave with a trophy.
“If anything, it’s made me more determined to play well here because it’s my last chance to win something with these boys.”
One of the factors which could have kept Sarginson at Wigan was the pull of his family.
Although based in the south, Sarginson’s mum travels to Wigan often to watch him play, and during his injury rehabilitation over the winter, was on hand to help him during his recovery, as he lives alone.
“It was a big call. I’ve got my family here, but I want to challenge myself,” he said.
“Everyone here has been great and really taken me in. Wigan are probably the most famous rugby league club in the world so it was definitely a big decision, but one I think is right for me.”
Sarginson will join a lineup of English players in the NRL with a strong pedigree, including the Burgess
brothers and James Graham – and he feels his time under Shaun Wane and his staff’s tutelage has made his move to the competition possible.
“I’ve had a three good years here and they’ve made me into such a better player,” he said.