My resignation had nothing to do with Wigan signing Zak Hardaker, insists Shaun Wane

Shaun Wane insists his resignation as Wigan coach had nothing to do with the club signing Zak Hardaker.

The Warriors announced the signing of full-back Zak Hardaker on a four-year deal last week, while the club announced the resignation of Wane, which will take effect at the end of the season, on Monday.

Hardaker is currently serving a 14-month ban after failing a drugs test last September, but he will be free to start training with Wigan two months before his ban expires on November 8, 2018.

And Wane has insisted that signing Hardaker was purely his decision and reiterated that the England international was not ‘forced on him’ by the club.

He said: “Whoever has said that (about Zak coming to us) doesn’t know me.

“I wouldn’t have a player forced on me, I am the most stubborn man in the world.

“Ian (Lenagan) and Kris (Radlinski) have been really good and loyal to me. If I want players to play for me, I ask them to try and get them for me.

“When a player makes a mistake like Zak did, we have to support them as a sport and that’s what we have done with Zak. We’re not at a stage where he makes a mistake and he’s banned forever.

“Zak is a fantastic player and I would have loved to have coached him. He is a player I really admire but sadly, it isn’t the way it’s going to be. To say that’s the reason I’m leaving is way off the mark, nobody would ever force me into anything. You must know that.”

Wane has most recently been linked with coaching roles at Catalans Dragons and Scotland Rugby Union, but he has admitted that he has not had any offers of work past his time with the Warriors.

He may or may not be involved in rugby league next year, but with talks of Magic Weekend going to New York, Wane thinks taking the event to America would be good for the sport.

He said: “I would love it at New York and I loved it at the Etihad.

“Let’s take it abroad. We have a fantastic sport, I love the game and the all of the people who watch it have a lot to be proud of.

“We massively undersell ourselves. Everyone is too keen to bag each other which is sad, so if we can take it over there and a get a good crowd then it would be good. I think the Americans will love our game.”

Wigan legend Shaun Edwards, who is current Wales Rugby Union’s assistant coach, is the favourite to take over the reins at the Warriors.

But Wane has revealed that it would be a big challenge for Shaun Edwards to replace him as Wigan head coach next season.

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