Oliver Gildart: Playing in the NRL a dream come true

Oliver Gildart Wests Tigers
Oliver Gildart will make his Wests Tigers debut this weekend (Photo: NRL.com / Wests Tigers TV)

England international Oliver Gildart will make his NRL debut this weekend after being named to start for Wests Tigers against Parramatta Eels.

The 25-year-old centre has joined the Tigers on a two-year deal from hometown club Wigan.

Gildart scored 61 tries in 129 appearances for the Warriors, winning two Grand Finals. He has also won four caps for Great Britain and England.

The Wigan academy product will fulfil a childhood dream on Saturday when he makes his NRL debut.

He told NRL.com: “It is a dream come true for me. I’ve always wanted to come over here since being a little kid.

“Not many people get to come over here, especially being from England. I’ve got my opportunity here and I’m looking forward to taking it.

“It is a completely fresh new club for me and I’ve enjoyed coming here. The work ethic by the coaches comes all the way down to the senior boys and the young lads.

“I’ve come from a club at Wigan who have always been at the top end of the table and I’ve come here and I’ve not seen much difference. I know there is a difference in NRL and Super League but I’ve been really impressed with the club and how training has gone.”

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Oliver Gildart, who is also eligible to play for Italy, will play under former Wigan boss Michael Maguire, who is head coach at the Tigers.

Gildart was on Wigan’s scholarship as a 14-year-old when Maguire led the Warriors to Grand Final glory in 2010.

On Maguire, Gildart said: “We’ve got pretty similar interests outside of footy so we spend time going out for coffees and food so I’ve got to know him pretty good.

“A few of the lads at Wigan told me he was a bit of a maniac before I came out here! I didn’t know what to expect but he’s been brilliant.

“I’ve really enjoyed getting to know him and being coached by him so I’m looking forward to this season.”

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About Drew Darbyshire 8298 Articles
Love Rugby League Deputy Editor. Joined the site ahead of the 2017 World Cup and been a full-time reporter since 2018.

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