Gareth Widdop returns to the UK ahead of Warrington pre-season return

Gareth Widdop has returned to the UK ahead of Warrington Wolves’ return to pre-season.

Widdop, whose future has been the subject of intense speculation, returned to Australia for the winter and there was a strong belief in some quarters that he wouldn’t return, cutting short his time in Super League.

But League Express understands the England international has returned to the country and is set to link up with the club when they return to training this Friday.

Widdop’s representatives have been trying to secure him an NRL return for several months to ensure he can be closer to his family, but the 31-year-old, who is one year into a three-season deal with the Wolves, would have needed to take a substantial pay cut to return down under.

Wests Tigers were the club most strongly linked with the former NRL star, who spent ten years in Australia with Melbourne and St George Illawarra Dragons.

Warrington have remained relaxed on the matter and though they will welcome Widdop’s presence should he stay, they are not in a rush to replace him, with Stefan Ratchford and Riley Dean both capable of playing in the halves, while Jake Mamo and Matty Ashton provide fullback cover.

Widdop scored five tries in 14 games during his first year with Warrington, but wasn’t named as part of Shaun Wane’s pool of players in the England reckoning.

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