Barrow Raiders are extremely pleased to announce the signing for the 2016 season of Oliver Wilkes from Leigh.👍
Wilkes started his career in the third season of the Super League competition with Sheffield Eagles at the age of 18 but made just one appearance for the club. He then went onto play for Huddersfield Giants playing six games during the 1999 season which saw Huddersfield escape relegation due to a merger with Sheffield United. Wilkes went onto play another season with the newly formed Huddersfield –Sheffield Giants before leaving the club at the end of the 2001 season.
Wilkes then signed with Keighley Cougars for the 2001-2003 seasons and played 68 games for the club, scoring 18 tries in his time there including 10 during the 2003 season.
Wilkes made his first International appearance for Scotland in 2003 against Ireland in the European Nations Cup tournament. He scored two goals in the next game of the competition against France game to help Scotland to a narrow victory. He was re-called for the 2005 European Cup and played in two Scotland defeats to Wales and Ireland. Wilkes also played in a 2008 World Cup Qualifier and in the 2010 European Cup.
In 2004 Wilkes signed with Leigh Centurions, playing in the National League One division. Wilkes became a regular first team squad member, playing 30 games and scoring 8 tries. Centurions were promoted to Super League for the 2005 season and Wilkes stayed on at the club making 14 appearances during the season.
On November 5th it was announced that Whitehaven had signed Wilkes from Leigh on a 12 month, part time deal with an additional year should Haven earn promotion. By March Wilkes has attracted the attention of Super League club Wigan Warriors and was allowed to leave the Cumbrian club in favour of top flight rugby. He made 6 appearances for Wigan before signing for newly relegated Widnes Vikings in National League One in May 2006.
Wilkes stayed at Widnes until the end of 2007 and reached the playoff finals two years running but the Vikings lost in the final both years. Wilkes also played in the squad that won the 2007 Northern Rail Cup final against Whitehaven at Bloomfield Road.
Wilkes signed with Wakefield Trinity Wildcats where he remained until signing for Harlequins for the 2010 season on a two year deal. On August 5th 2011 it was announced that Wilkes would return to Wakefield Trinity Wildcats on a two deal from the 2012 season.
Oliver has more recently been the Leigh Centurions captain helping them to the last 2 Championship titles.
Wilkes played over 30 games for Leigh in the 2015 season even picking up a couple of tries.
Work and family has brought Oliver back to his home town and he believes he is still a force to bring to any team next year. Coach Paul Crarey and his coaching staff are relishing having Wilkes in the front row next year and know he will make a big impact in the pack next year.
All at Barrow Raiders welcome Oliver Wilkes to the club and wish him a great season with us 😋