Ex-Castleford Tigers man Ryan Hampshire makes surprise move to Super League rivals

FORMER Castleford Tigers man Ryan Hampshire has made a surprise move to a Super League rival for the 2023 season.

It was thought that Hampshire would stay at the Jungle during his rehab, but now Wigan Warriors have confirmed the signing of Hampshire on a one-year contract with further options in the club’s favour for two more years.

The Wakefield-born fullback or halfback came through the Wigan system where he played under Matt Peet, then Wigan’s academy coach. He played 30 first-team games for Wigan scoring nine tries and 24 goals.

He left Wigan in 2016 and has since had spells with Leigh Centurions, Wakefield Trinity and Castleford Tigers. The Normanton Knights junior made his debut in 2013 in a 33-32 win over Widnes at the Halton Stadium.

It comes as a potential surprise because Castleford head coach Lee Radford had previously said this about the potential for Hampshire’s return: “Ryan Hampshire has just got back on the field for his first run. Matty Crowther is doing a good job getting him up to speed and healthy.

“His contract is currently expired, so we want to get him right and back on the field and give him an opportunity to put his best foot forward.

“We have a duty of care. There’s been no movement in that (a new deal) but the salary cap dictates a lot of where you’re at in terms of recruitment.”

Speaking on signing, Ryan Hampshire commented: “I am delighted to be coming back to Wigan. I am a different person from 7-years ago and keen to show the Wigan fans my commitment and capabilities.

“I look forward to the opportunity to help Wigan win more trophies and to earning the respect and confidence of my teammates.”