Prop Mike Cooper has left Warrington to join Wigan with immediate effect.
Cooper, 33, had agreed to join the Warriors from 2023 but has linked up with his new club today after being frozen out by Daryl Powell.
He didn’t feature in Warrington’s last two games against Catalans and Castleford.
Warriors executive director, Kris Radlinski, said: “Once it became clear to Mike that he was not part of Warrington’s plans for the remainder of the year, we seized the opportunity to strengthen our squad at a key point in the season.
“With eight games to go before the Play-Offs begin, we get a guy with bags of experience who is hungry for success. We look forward to him getting started and is available for selection immediately.”
Cooper played 272 games for Warrington in two spells, either side of a stint in the NRL with St George-Illawarra Dragons.
The Club can confirm that Mike Cooper has joined Wigan Warriors on a permanent deal with immediate effect
We thank Coops for an incredible 14 seasons in the primrose and blue and wish him well in the next stage of his career 👏 pic.twitter.com/VptlbYJxqh
— Warrington Wolves (@WarringtonRLFC) July 18, 2022
He has signed a one-year deal with Wigan for 2023, with an option for a further 12 months.
The Warriors say he goes straight into contention for their clash with Leeds on Thursday.
Cooper told the club’s official website: “It’s been a bit of a whirlwind but I’m here now and I just want to get started and put my best foot forward.
“It’s a proud club with huge history and proven success and I want to be a part of that. Hopefully I can add to what we’ve already got here. Wigan have a history of playing a certain way – playing with a load of intent and that suits me.
“We’ve got a fantastic pack already and some young lads and I’ll bring that experience, but first and foremost it’s about earning people’s respect. It’s about fitting into the culture here and making mates with everybody – from the office staff to the performance staff and players. It’s one big family and I’m really happy to be a part of it.”
Cooper won four Challenge Cups with Warrington and played in three Super League Grand Finals.
Wolves chairman Stuart Middleton said: “Mike has been an incredible servant for the club for 14 seasons, wearing the primrose and blue with pride and passion.
“I know how much it has meant to him to live out his dream of playing for his hometown club and I’d like to thank him for his efforts and performances over the years.
“We wish him well for his next chapter.”