Thornley set to confirm Warriors departure

Iain Thornley
Iain Thornley
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IAIN Thornley has confirmed he doesn’t expect to be a Wigan player in 2016 – and has been offered a deal to move to Hull KR.

The 23-year-old centre is currently on loan with Salford Red Devils, having not made a Warriors appearance since recovering from a cruciate knee ligament injury which ended his 2014 season – a year which also saw him sidelined with a torn pectoral muscle.

Now fit and set to make his first Salford appearance against Wakefield on Sunday, Thornley, who is out of contract with Wigan at the end of the season, is hoping to put his injury nightmare behind him before he moves across the Pennines.

“I’m kind of in limbo at the moment but it is looking like it’s going down that route,” Thornley told Wigan Today when asked about Hull KR’s interest.

“They have put something on paper and it’s up to me to make that decision.

“Being out for that long people playing have taken their chances so I’ve needed to look elsewhere and (Hull KR coach) Chris Chester has been great with me, keeping in touch and seeing how I am.”

Thornley has been short of opportunities to break into the Wigan side since recovering from his injury and has been limited to making appearances for Workington on dual-registration.

His last Warriors appearance came in the away defeat to Widnes in August 2014.

And the ex-Sale Sharks RU player admits the driving factor behind his decision to leave Wigan is the opportunity to play more regularly.

“I want to play rugby week-in-week-out and really had to make that decision,” he said.

They have put something on paper and it’s up to me to make that decision

Iain Thornley

“It took that long to get back and you can’t rush these things.

“You have to stick to the times the specialists give you or you’ll get more problems later on but I’m fine now.”

Thornley’s injury required an anterior cruciate ligament reconstruction and coming so soon after making his return from his pectoral injury, the centre admitted it was hard to take.

“You wouldn’t complain if you got one of the injuries at 21 and the other a 27 but it was the fact I had them in quick succession,” he explained.

“It’s getting more common in our sport.

“Fingers crossed it is all behind me, it will be good to get back this weekend.”

Salford director of rugby Tim Sheens also all but confirmed Thornley’s impending departure.

“He has come across to spend some time with us, and we will work hard to give him some games to remember and hopefully boost his confidence before he goes to Hull KR next season,” said Sheens.

“Iain’s size and ability in the centre will do us a lot of good.”