How Wigan Warriors shape up for 2024, with six new recruits among 29 in Matt Peet’s squad

Ben Olawumi
Harry Smith, Luke Thompson, Bevan French

Harry Smith (Left), new signing Luke Thompson (Middle) & Bevan French (Right) will all form part of Wigan Warriors' squad in 2024 - Alamy

Super League champions Wigan Warriors head into 2024 with 29 players in their squad, including six new recruits, as they look to defend their crown.

The Cherry and Whites lifted their first Super League title in five years with victory over Catalans Dragons in the Grand Final at Old Trafford back in October.

Never before in the Super League era have they gone back-to-back, but after some eye-catching recruitment, they’re fancied to do so next year by many.

Matt Peet and his backroom team have added NRL quality in the shape of former Leeds Rhinos ace Kruise Leeming and ex-St Helens forward Luke Thompson, from the Gold Coast Titans and Canterbury Bulldogs respectively.

Added to that, Adam Keighran and France international Tiaki Chan were both brought in from beaten Grand Finalists Catalans, with Australian Keighran responsible for 198 of the points scored by the Dragons in the season just gone, that in his first year as a Super League player.

Rounding off the new recruits are the young duo of Sam Eseh and Sam Walters, who already have over 50 appearances in the top flight between them.

23-year-old Walters joins following a complex exit from Leeds, as he detailed in an exclusive interview with Love Rugby League.

Eseh meanwhile – who also spoke exclusively to Love Rugby League – says his move to Wigan from relegated Wakefield Trinity could be ‘life changing’.

Wigan Warriors duo to be sidelined for start of 2024 season

As confirmed last week, Peet’s side will be without both Ethan Havard and Junior Nsemba for the start of the 2024 season.

Bulgaria-born England international Havard suffered a recurrence of his hamstring injury having been fast-tracked into the Grand Final triumph against Catalans, lasting just 10 minutes at Old Trafford before pulling up having come off the bench.

19-year-old Nsemba meanwhile has had surgery this off-season in the form of a meniscal repair. Like Havard, he’ll miss the start of the upcoming campaign, but Warriors head coach Matt Peet hopes to have him back in contention by the end of February.

Positively however, a quartet are set to return to full fitness ready for the beginning of the 2024 campaign, with long-term absentee Mike Cooper the most notable of those having been out of action since the Good Friday derby against St Helens in which he picked up an injury that left him requiring an ACL reconstruction.

Jake Wardle will also be ready after undergoing a clean-up of his knee in the off-season, while Ireland international Liam Byrne is well on his way back to recovery from a hamstring problem. Byrne missed the Warriors’ final four games of 2023.

Finally, winger Abbas Miski will be ready and raring to go, but has also had to have a clean-up of his knee this off-season after suffering an MCL injury in the Grand Final.

How Wigan Warriors shape up for 2024, with six new recruits among 29 in Matt Peet’s squad

A full list of Wigan‘s squad – alphabetised by surname – for 2024 can be found below, split up into those who have been retained and those who have been recruited.

Retained (23): Liam Byrne, Mike Cooper, Jacob Douglas, Tyler Dupree, Zach Eckersley, Kaide Ellis, Liam Farrell, Jack Farrimond, Jai Field, Tom Forber, Bevan French, Ryan Hampshire, Ethan Havard, Harvie Hill, Willie Isa, Patrick Mago, Harvey Makin, Liam Marshall, Abbas Miski, Junior Nsemba, Brad O’Neill, Harry Smith, Jake Wardle

Recruited (6): Tiaki Chan (Catalans Dragons), Sam Eseh (Wakefield Trinity), Adam Keighran (Catalans Dragons), Kruise Leeming (Gold Coast Titans), Luke Thompson (Canterbury Bulldogs), Sam Walters (Leeds Rhinos)

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