Mike Cooper discusses playing future and makes Wigan Warriors admission

Aaron Bower
Mike Cooper

Wigan Warriors prop Mike Cooper has insisted he is yet to decide whether or not he will play on in 2025 – but has credited the Warriors and Matt Peet for bringing back his love of the sport.

Cooper is highly likely to leave Wigan at the end of this season, after Love Rugby League revealed earlier this month that he was one of several Super League players who had been informed they would not be offered a new deal at their existing clubs beyond this season.

He turns 36 later this year but spent almost a year out injured with a serious knee problem early into the 2023 campaign, just months after arriving at the DW Stadium. And Cooper insisted he still feels as though he has plenty to contribute – but has not yet decided what his future looks like.

He told Love Rugby League: “We’ll just see what happens, but I’m not stressing about it: what will be, will be. I missed a full year with injury so I’ll see how I wake up from one morning to the next!

“We’re just going to see how we feel, I’ve got no pressure, I’ve got other interests in the pipeline so we’ll see.. we’ll see how I feel.”

Cooper returns to former club Warrington with the Warriors this weekend, and he admits that as he gears up for a return to the Halliwell Jones Stadium, he owes current coach Matt Peet plenty.

READ NEXT: Warrington Wolves suffer Challenge Cup final injury blow with key man ruled out

“Matty has been great,” Cooper said. “To give me the opportunity to play in the World Club Challenge, even sign me in the first place, it’s been amazing.

“To win some more silverware would be a dream come true. It was a difficult time at Warrington with who was in charge and everything else, and Matty brought my love back to the game for me. I’ve a hell of a lot of respect for him and I class him as one of the best coaches I’ve ever worked with. The club has been amazing with me, I have thoroughly loved my time here.”

And Cooper admits that he is conscious of a possible Wembley appearance in next weekend’s Challenge Cup final, again versus Warrington, and that he is determined to prove he is worthy of a place in Wigan’s 17.

He admits: “To win a big game like we did in the semi and then back it up the week after (against Salford).. if we thought we’d been in this position during pre-season we’d have certainly taken it. We’re professional but you’d be lying to say Wembley’s not in the back of your mind. But we’re fully focussed on Super League for now.

“It’s a massive decision on who Matt wants to go with and we’ve got to deal with that as players. We put a Wigan shirt on and we’ve got to perform to a certain standard. You’ve got to perform to that standard or you miss out.”

READ NEXT: Sam Burgess makes Las Vegas declaration amidst Warrington Wolves rumours