Hampshire signs new deal with Wigan, joins Cas on loan

Wigan Warriors have confirmed that young back Ryan Hampshire has inked a new three-year deal at the club.

He has also moved to join Castleford on a season-long loan deal.

Hampshire is from West Yorkshire, having come through the ranks at Normanton Knights, before joining Wigan as a 16-year-old.

“Firstly I am delighted to sign a contract extension with Wigan,” said the player.

“Kris Radlinski [Wigan rugby director] and Ian Lenagan [Wigan chairman] have assured me that I have a big future with Wigan and I appreciate the club’s support at this stage. I have showed the trust in what I have been told by signing the new contract.

“I’m delighted to be spending 2016 back in West Yorkshire with the Tigers, and being around my family and friends a lot more. The chance to work under Daryl [Powell – Tigers coach] and play regular first team rugby is really exciting.

“I’m looking forward to meeting up with my new team mates and being in a new environment.”

Wigan chairman Ian Lenagan believes that the move to the Tigers will give Hampshire some much-needed first-team experience.

“Ryan is too good a player not to be playing regularly which has led to some frustration on his part and on the club’s part,” he told the Warriors’ official website.

“Because of the absence of a reserves grade, he has played only four games in the last 18 weeks of the season which is simply not enough for a player of his calibre.

“We believe Ryan has a major future with Wigan at first team level and we have moved to address the problem in a creative way which is good for the player’s development and good for the club. It also allows Ryan to show his capability in his preferred half-back role.

“Ryan still wants to be a success at Wigan but rightly feels that he needs consistent first-grade rugby to further enhance his career.

“This solution means Ryan gets the opportunity to earn game time at a strong Super League club with an excellent head coach.

“Castleford get a very good player for 12 months and Wigan will see the benefit of this when he returns to us in 2017.

“The emergency clause protects Wigan in the event of a significant injury to one of our key first team players.”

Castleford head coach Daryl Powell is pleased to have a player of such pedigree at his disposal for next season.

“I am delighted Ryan has agreed to join us, in what is a crucial year in the team’s further development,” he said.

2He will provide great competition at half back and full back. His speed and elusive qualities will really add to our teams attacking threats.”

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