Exclusive: Kris Radlinski reveals how close Wigan came to signing Owen Farrell

Alex Spink

Kris Radlinski has revealed to Love Rugby League how close he believes Wigan Warriors came to securing Owen Farrell’s signature last year.

Ever since Farrell’s schoolboy days playing league for Wigan St Patricks, there has been hope in the town that England’s record international points scorer would return from union to join dad Andy’s old club.

It has never happened, with Farrell confirming in January he will leave Saracens for French club Racing 92 on a two-year deal this summer.

“Owen’s been part of my life for 20 years,” Radlinski explains to Love Rugby League. “He’s always been around our club and our training, from a young kid and I’ve always posed the question, ‘Do you ever want to play for Wigan?’

“Those most recent conversations might only have been six or seven months ago when his future was uncertain at Saracens and he had a decision to make. That’s probably the closest we came.

“We were right in the mix, right at the party.”

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Radlinski and Farrell will be united in cheering on Warriors on Friday in the derby against St Helens, but the former is now resigned to the latter not actually playing for the club.

“Could it still happen? I probably think it’s one contract too far now,” says Radlinski. “Owen is going overseas for a couple of years. 

“If you’re going to come back and play a new sport – which it would be, even though he grew up with it – it’s difficult to pick up at that stage of your career.”