Wigan coach Matt Peet has revealed how they managed to make Mike Cooper an immediate signing, rather than from next season as initially agreed.
The Warriors had initially signed the England international on a one-year deal from next season, with the option of a further 12 months.
But Cooper has now made the move immediately having not been part of Warrington’s squad for their last two games against Catalans and Castleford.
Peet has revealed that he was contacted by Warrington directly over Cooper making his move to Wigan straight away.
“Warrington contacted us and asked was it a possibility,” Peet said. “I received a phonecall and I was really hopeful that we could do it. All I did then was pass it onto Kris (Radlinski, executive director) because that’s not really my job.
“I was contacted so I was the messenger Kris picked it up with Warrington. Thanks to Kris and Ian (Lenagan, owner) they were able to get it done quickly. My part in that was non-existent really.
“Us as coaches work together with Ian and Kris when we identify a player we want. We all agreed that the timing was great. It is something we’ve had success with in the past, more recently with Brad Singleton but we’ve had success before that.”
Wigan coach delighted with immediate signing of Mike Cooper
The 33-year-old has made 272 appearances for hometown club Warrington in two spells, either side of a three-year stint in the NRL with St George Illawarra Dragons. He has won 10 caps for England.
Peet says he is pleased to be able to welcome Cooper to the club earlier than planned.
“I think the fact that we had signed him for next year (already) shows that we rate him highly as a player and as a bloke,” Peet said.
“Everything I hear about Mike on and off the field is of a high standard.
“He is a player that when we’ve played against him has been right at the top of our conversations. To get him now at this time of the year is a great boost.
“I think every squad is being tested to their limit. They are going to get even more tested if you look at the last month of Super League fixtures. It is not just about bringing off field presence, but what he can bring on the field is timely.
“Similarly to when we brought in Brad Singleton a couple of years ago, I think it us trying to address the balance in our squad; and trying to get that blend between youth and experience. And with that brings competition for places.”
Cooper is in contention to make his Wigan debut in Thursday’s televised trip to Leeds. He will wear the number 36 jersey for the Warriors.