Jake Wardle on new Wigan Warriors contract, ‘really easy’ decision and his England ambitions

Drew Darbyshire
Jake Wardle Wigan Warriors Alamy

Jake Wardle admits it was a ‘really easy decision’ to commit his long-term future to Wigan Warriors after signing a new five-year deal with the champions last week.

The England international will remain a Wigan player until at least the end of the 2029 season thanks to his contract extension.

Wardle has become the latest individual to agree to a long-term stay with the Warriors, who were crowned World Club champions in February after beating Penrith Panthers.

Speaking to the media for the first time since signing his new deal, Wardle admits it was a ‘really easy’ decision after Wigan offered him a long-term stay.

“I’ve made everyone well aware that I’ve enjoyed my time here and it just felt right to sign a long-term deal,” Wardle said.

“Obviously everyone was really welcoming – the boys, the staff, that’s coaches down to admin staff, everyone has just been really welcoming and it’s been really easy to settle in.

“I’m just really enjoying my time here, training is enjoyable and obviously on a weekend playing as we are, it all helps.

“I’m 25 now and I’ve got a little boy as well so I needed to think about him and look to get that financial security as well so a lot of things went into consideration but I’m really happy with it.”

The in-form centre had reportedly attracted interest from the NRL according to reports Down Under – but Wardle says his mind was made up as soon as the Warriors tabled him a five-year deal.

“I just leave all of that to my agent,” Wardle said when asked about the reported NRL interest. “I just try to focus on the rugby side of it and when things come up obviously I’ll deal with them accordingly but for me, it was just about focusing on the rugby side of it and once Wigan placed a five-year deal it was a no-brainer.”

WARRIORS: Wigan coach Matt Peet provides injury update on forward duo

Jake Wardle: Wigan Warriors coaches have been massive for me

Wardle also praised the coaching staff at Wigan – Matt Peet, Tommy Leuluai, Sean O’Loughlin & Co – for the work they have put into him: both on and off the field.

“They’ve been massive,” Wardle told Love Rugby League. “Obviously Tommy and Lockers have played the game, they know what it’s like to be a player and ever since I’ve been here everyone has just been really welcoming, they’ve helped me on and off the field.

“Obviously I’ve moved over to a new place, people helping me with things like that, so it was a really easy decision.”

LRL RECOMMENDS: The two key statistics in Wigan Warriors’ play they must change following St Helens loss

Ambitions for more England caps

Jake Wardle
Jake Wardle in action for Wigan Warriors

Wardle has been one of the leading centres in Super League since arriving at Wigan ahead of last season, scoring 20 tries in 38 appearances so far.

The Halifax-born centre has made two appearances for England since making his international debut in 2022 – and Wardle is hungry more caps in the coming years.

At the time of writing, England do not have any fixtures pencilled in for this year – but are likely to play France in Toulouse in June, whilst the Rugby Football League are still in negotiations with Samoa over a proposed test series on English soil this autumn.

When asked about his England ambitions in 2024, Wardle, who is also of Scottish heritage, replied: “Obviously I’d like to (play) but again, my focus is on Wigan. I believe if I play as well as I can for Wigan, then hopefully that opportunity will take care of itself but, if not, then as long as I’ve put my best foot forward for Wigan, then I can’t do much more.”

READ NEXT: Analysing Super League’s best winger identity after Paul Wellens’ Tommy Makinson claim