Wigan Warriors have completed the signing of highly-rated forward Gabriel Hamlin from NRL side South Sydney Rabbitohs.
Capable of playing at prop or loose-forward Hamlin joins the Warriors on a two-year deal and will head over to the UK to join up with his new teammates when pre-season begins in November.
The 20-year-old has made 47 appearances for the Rabbitohs’ Under-20s side and joins Wigan after being recommended to the club by contacts in Australia.
Executive Director Kris Radlinski said: “My recent visit to Australia was primarily about our 2018 trip to Wollongong and Sydney however along the way I met with a few familiar faces including Michael Maguire and Pat Richards.
“Having worked with us as a Club and more recently with Gabriel both Michael and Pat mentioned that he was available and that he would be the perfect fit for Wigan. Michael’s words were ‘he is someone who is made for our environment’.
“A wise head on young shoulders, we believe that Gabriel has the potential to blossom here at Wigan.”
Warriors coach Shaun Wane added: “We are always on the lookout for talented players that have a good attitude and a real determination to improve. Developing players is a part of coaching that I really enjoy and at Wigan we have a great record of bringing in players and taking them onto the next level.
“When people like Michael Maguire and Pat Richards are both recommending a player to you then you take that recommendation very seriously and we all believe that Gabriel is a talented forward who can really fulfil his potential here at Wigan. We can’t wait to have him join us.”
“I’m really excited about joining Wigan and I’m flattered that they think me worthy of this opportunity. I’m very proud of my English heritage, my Mum was actually born in Blackpool,” Hamlin said.
“Although I’ve never been to the UK before I’ve heard great things about it. I have studied up on Wigan’s great history and I am thrilled to get the opportunity to represent the club next season.
“I watch Super League regularly and I am prepared for the challenge that awaits. It’s very exciting and I intend on making the most of this chance.”