Warrington coach Daryl Powell has lifted the lid on conversations with outgoing prop Mike Cooper, but insists there is no rift between the pair.
England international Cooper, 33, will join Warrington’s rivals Wigan on a one-year deal from 2023, with the option of a further year.
The move came as a surprise to many Warrington fans, with Cooper being one of their standout forwards in recent years.
On Cooper’s exit, Powell said: “I just think everyone’s time comes to an end at a club. Coaches want different things at times.
“Me and Mike are fine but I just felt like we had to move in a different direction. I wanted to freshen it up in the middle for next year so that’s the reason why.
“Me and Mike have sat down a couple of times over the last few weeks and months and talked it through. I actually think it would be good for him and good for us and that’s what happens in rugby league.
“I think we’ve signed some pretty smart players in the middle unit already for next year; and there will be some more as well. Freshness is at times good for everybody and I believe that will be the case for both us and Mike.”
Warrington want to send Mike Cooper out as a winner
Cooper has made 235 appearances for the Wolves across two spells, winning two Challenge Cups.
Powell wants the Wolves to send proud Warringtonian Cooper out on a high.
Powell said: “I don’t think he particularly wanted to leave. But I explained it in as much detail as I could to be honest on what I wanted to do and that was that.
“I don’t want to get into that too much. A decision has been made and Coops has got his future sorted.
“We are working hard to secure our future as a club in the best way that I think is possible. Then you crack on and get on with what is in front of us which is Mike Cooper playing well for the rest of his time at the club and us winning games to give him a chance to go out on the big stage.”
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