Wigan prepare to announce Hardaker arrival

Zak Hardaker’s impending contract with Wigan has been signed after the former Castleford Tigers and England fullback was handed a 14-month suspension by UK Anti-Doping last week.

The suspension will expire on 7 November this year, meaning he will be free to return to the sport and enjoy a full pre-season before resuming his playing career next season.

The Warriors have now signed the England international, whose legal team was able to successfully argue that his ban should be reduced due to “exceptional circumstances.”

He is expected to join the Warriors on a free transfer, having been sacked by Castleford in the aftermath of a positive drugs test taken on September 8, 2017, the date when the Tigers defeated Leeds Rhinos 38-24 in the Super 8s.

Castleford had paid £150,000 to Leeds Rhinos to sign Hardaker on a permanent basis in June last year, just four months before he was suspended by UKAD.

His imminent arrival at Wigan casts further doubt on the future of Sam Tomkins, who has been heavily linked with a move to Catalans.