‘Zak should tell Wigan Warriors he will cut-out alcohol during season’

Zak Hardaker only started training with Wigan earlier this month
Zak Hardaker only started training with Wigan earlier this month

Zak Hardaker has been urged to quit the booze to put his career back on track - by his own agent.

Warriors’ big-name recruit for 2019 was arrested for drink-driving on Tuesday night, Wigantoday revealed yesterday. He will appear in court on October 11, two days before the Super League Grand Final, also charged with driving without insurance and driving without an MOT.

His new club later confirmed they would wait for the legal process to run its course before deciding whether to take any action.

But given his track record - he is currently serving a ban from the sport for taking cocaine and has previously been in hot water - it has inevitably sparked speculation about the 26-year-old’s future.

His agent, Craig Harrison, hopes he is given the chance to repay Wigan’s faith in him - and has urged Hardaker to give up alcohol during the season.

“I hope if he stays at Wigan, Zak - within the season - needs to leave the beer alone,” Harrison told Full Eighty Minutes, on Proper Sport.

“Because every single thing has been related to him having a drink. And that’s been from him being 19 years old. I’ve never heard Zak ever, ever get in trouble other than starting with, ‘I went out for a drink’.

“That to me is the root of it. That’s a choice Zak has to make, and hopefully Wigan stick with him on it and (he says), ‘Get me tested, that’s me done, I can’t drink during the season.’

“I think Zak needs to do that for himself and to give Wigan back the faith they’ve shown.”

Harrison operates Show Me The Money, which claims to be the UK’s leading rugby league agency.

He says he has spoken to Hardaker and his family.

“He’s alright, he knows he’s done wrong, let the powers that be handle that and Zak is with his family,” he said, and criticised those who were taking ‘delight in someone’s misery’.

“Kid’s got problems and he’s getting help.”

Former Castleford and Leeds full-back Hardaker signed for Wigan in May but UK Anti-Doping rules prevented him from starting training with the club until earlier this month. His 14-month ban expires in November.

Related: Wigan’s big-name signing arrested