Kai Pearce-Paul targets ‘perfect ending’ at Wigan Warriors before NRL move

KAI PEARCE-PAUL is targeting the “perfect ending” to his time at Wigan Warriors.

The highly-rated 22-year-old is heading to Australia after signing a two-year contract with the NRL’s Newcastle Knights, alongside fellow Englishman Will Pryce.

Pearce-Paul has been with Wigan since the end of 2019, when he signed from London Broncos’ Academy, and has become an elite performer in his four years as a Warrior.

He debuted in 2020, established himself in the first team the following year, and then in 2022 played for England at the World Cup.

Pearce-Paul is yet to play in a major final, however, after missing last year’s Challenge Cup triumph through injury.

That chance will finally come on Saturday at Old Trafford, in his Wigan farewell.

“It’s something you dream of as a kid,” he told League Express.

“Apart from playing for England, there’s nothing more you can wish for as a kid than walking out at Old Trafford, in such a big stadium and occasion. 

“It’s an outstanding feeling and the thought of potentially winning a Grand Final, it would be the perfect ending for me at the club.

“It’s crazy, it hasn’t really hit me yet that I’m leaving. My mind works in weird ways.

“Whether we win or lose, walking around that pitch at Old Trafford at the end of the game knowing it’s my last game will be pretty weird.

“I’m going to the other side of the world but I’ve managed to push it to one side of my mind and just focus on Wigan right now.

“I’ll do everything I can to hopefully get us a winin the Grand Final.”

Wigan approach the final match of the season in perfect form, winning their previous nine matches to secure the League Leaders’ Shield before thrashing Hull KR in the play-off semi-finals.

“You never expect that, especially against a team like Hull KR. They had so many wins on the bounce, they were in very good form as well,” said Pearce-Paul of their seven-try victory.

“We put our foot on their throat early and we just stuck with it. The scoreline spoke for itself. We had a game plan in place, we stuck to it and it worked for us.

“But every week you have to find a new way of playing against different teams.”

And so it will be against Catalans Dragons, this Saturday’s opponents, after they edged past St Helens in dramatic fashion, and in contrast to Wigan’s runaway success.

“It was a great semi-final. It shows that next week is not going to be easy, as it never will be at Old Trafford,” added Pearce-Paul, who insists it will be a “whole different ball game” to the Warriors’ 34-0 win Perpignan in August.

“Catalans are looking for their first (Grand Final) win. It will be really interesting.

“For a lot of us it will be the first time walking out on that stage.”

His first, and his last in a Wigan shirt – it will be a momentous day for one of England’s brightest talents.