Gildart praises “world class” Hardaker

Wigan centre Oliver Gildart says that new signing Zak Hardaker has already made an impact at training.

Hardaker, 26, has been able to participate from Monday this week, though is unable to play for the Warriors until next season due to his drugs ban.

The Warriors are preparing for Friday’s home game against Warrington, where a win will move them closer to securing a home tie in the play-offs.

Gildart told the club’s official website: “He’s a world class player and has great intensity in training, everything he does brings the best out of you. Whether you’re defending or attacking against him you’ve got to be at your best so it’s only going to benefit us.

“I’ve played against him for a number of years now, had some good times with him and some bad times with him. Obviously lost in the Grand Final against him so I know what he can d, so hopefully he can add to my game and vice versa.”

Outgoing coach Shaun Wane said earlier in the week that he wish Hardaker could play. The former Leeds and Castleford full-back hasn’t played since last season’s play-offs, before the news broke that he had failed a drugs test which ruled him out of the Tigers’ first Grand Final appearance.

Hardaker won the Super League title with Leeds back in 2015, the year he was Man of Steel, starting the Grand Final at full-back as the Rhinos won 22-20 against a Wigan team starring Gildart at centre.

The only other time they have gone head to head with each other was in last year’s Super 8s, when Castleford won 38-20 at the DW Stadium.

Should Wigan beat Warrington on Friday, Castleford would be the only team that could still prevent the Warriors finishing in the top two – though only if they defeat Huddersfield tonight.

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