Sporting Chance founder Tony Adams will be brilliant for rugby league, says Zak Hardaker

Zak Hardaker undergone a rehabilitation programme in the Sporting Chance clinic and believes the charity’s founder, Tony Adams, will be massive for rugby league.

The former Steve Prescott Man of Steel winner has undergone a programme of professional and personal rehabilitationwith the Sporting Chance clinic after being banned from drivingafter admitting more than twice the drink-drive limit, while serving a drugs ban.

As part of his rehabilition process, Hardaker entered a daily programme, which featured volunteer work, work experience, mentoring days and wellbeing meetings with the club’s player welfare manager, Steve McCormack.

And with Sporting Chance’s founder Tony Adams being elected as the new RFL president, Hardaker thinks the news is a big positive for the sport.

“Tony is an image and is massive in the world of sport, with him captaining England and Arsenal,” Hardaker told loverugbyleague.com.

“He will be brilliant for rugby league. He will give the sport the extra dimension and could take it down a different avenue. I think we might get more people on board with rugby league because of him.

“The sport might become more noticeable as well. I can’t remember the figures but quite a lot of rugby league players have been helped by Sporting Chance, whether they are current players or past players and they use their facilities.

“I think if Tony can bring Sporting Chance a little more into the sport then it will be great and will offer a helping hand to the players. I think Tony will be great in terms of growing the sport.”

Hardaker has stopped using Twitter recently due to suffering abuse on it and believes social media can be damaging to a person’s mental health.

“I’ve come off Twitter because of the aggravation I’ve been getting,” he added.

“I deleted all my social media profiles a while ago and I’ve only recently got my Instagram back up.

“Social media can be pretty bad at times. I’ve not missed it though, so I don’t see why I have to have it sometimes.

“Even my opinions [about general day-to-day topics] get a bad reaction so I might get it back in a few months or next week… I just don’t know at this moment in time. I’m happy with just my Instagram at the minute.”

Hardaker is set for a return to action this weekend as Wigan travel to Salford Red Devils in a pre-season friendly, 2pm kick-off.

It has been a long-awaited return for Hardaker, who has not played in 16 months.

“It’s been a long time away but it’s going to be great putting on that Wigan jersey and getting that first taste of the game back in me,” the England international continued.

“I’ve been training quite hard for the last couple of months so all that I can use to practice now and get into game mode.

“Hopefully I can be a big part of the game on Sunday and hopefully it will put me in good stead for the game against Saints.

“There’s a lot of competition for places but I’ll just be happy to play wherever I’m picked.”

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