Wigan promote youngster to first team as Hanley departs

Umyla Hanley, Wigan Warriors, Leigh

Wigan have promoted young winger Jacob Douglas to their first team squad after Leigh confirmed the signing of Umyla Hanley.

Hanley, 20, had been spotted in pre-season training with the Leopards before Christmas and has now been announced in their squad number list for their return to Super League in 2023.

The full-back, son of the legendary Ellery, scored five tries in 11 appearances for Wigan and also made 10 appearances for Newcastle in the Championship last season.

It hasn’t yet been confirmed if the move is a loan or a permanent switch. Wigan have been approached for comment.

Winger “over the moon” with first team deal

Douglas becomes the 30th member of the Warriors first-team squad for 2023 after signing a new two-year deal, with the option of a third year.

The 18-year-old has progressed through the club’s scholarship and academy system, and was a regular in the reserve and academy teams in 2022.

He said: “I’d been training with the first team for about a month before December. Me and Matt (Peet) had a few conversations about how I was doing and he was pleased.

“I was offered a full-time deal which I was over the moon with. It’s two years with another year option so hopefully, I’ll be here for the next three-years.”

Douglas suffered a broken collarbone in his first year at the club in 2019, before the COVID pandemic wiped out his second year.

He featured in Wigan’s 42-12 win over Newcastle in pre-season last year.

Executive Director, Kris Radlinski added: “Jacob’s story is a great and inspiring one. He has overcome injury as a youngster and worked so hard to get his chance and he has been a revelation in pre-season. 

“When he told the senior squad that he would be joining them full time, the room cheered and they mobbed him out of respect. It is a great lesson for any young player. We all can’t wait to work with him and see where his career takes him.”

Douglas will wear the number 31 shirt for Wigan.

Meanwhile, Umyla Hanley has been handed the number 26 shirt by Leigh in their new look squad.

The re-branded Leopards have added a raft of signings after romping to the Championship title last season to secure an immediate return to the top flight.

He becomes the sixth ex-Wigan player in their line-up, which includes Zak Hardaker, Josh Charnley and Jack Hughes.

MORE: Leigh Leopards 2023 squad numbers: Zak Hardaker to wear No. 1 shirt

About James Gordon 7295 Articles
Love Rugby League editor. Founded the website back in 2005. Worked with a range of clubs and sponsors during that time. Also commentates for BBC.

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