Wigan Warriors: Impressive recruitment drive shows Matt Peet’s side mean business

Drew Darbyshire
Wigan Warriors new recruits for 2024

Adam Keighran, Kruise Leeming, Sam Walters and Tiaki Chan will join Wigan Warriors for 2024

Wigan Warriors have been very busy in the recruitment department over the last few weeks, with coach Matt Peet building an impressive for 2024 and beyond.

The Super League giants have announced the signings of Adam Keighran, Tiaki Chan (both Catalans Dragons), Kruise Leeming (Gold Coast Titans) and Sam Walters (Leeds Rhinos) over the last couple of months.

Keighran is an excellent coup. He will be a like for like replacement for England international Toby King, who is expected to return to parent club Warrington Wolves following his season-long loan deal.

King has impressed for the Warriors this season but, by all reports, it seems like it’s all but certain that he will go back to the Wire for 2024 due to the new marquee player rulings for homegrown players.

The signing of Keighran will prove valuable to the Warriors for a number of reasons. His versatility will come in handy, with the Australian being able to play centre, half-back and hooker.

The 26-year-old is also a very good goal-kicker, so he could provide healthy competition to Harry Smith, who is currently in charge with the boot.

Meanwhile Challenge Cup winner Leeming will join Wigan on a four-year contract from next season, which will provide depth in the hooking role.

Leeming will fight for a place to be the club’s dummy half alongside the experienced Sam Powell and youngster Brad O’Neill, who recently signed a four-year extension with his boyhood club.

Stars of the future

Wigan’s signings of forward duo Sam Walters and Tiaki Chan are very shrewd indeed – two players with their best rugby ahead of them.

Walters, a 6ft 6in towering front-rower, has been in brilliant form for Leeds this season, much to the despair of their supporters when his deal to Wigan was announced.

Meanwhile, Chan is a lot less experienced than Walters, but Wigan have a good history of making ‘project’ signings and really getting the best out of them.

Chan, a France international, is the son of former New Zealand powerhouse Alex Chan.

Walters is likely to be a replacement for experienced off-contract prop Brad Singleton, who has been linked with a move to Salford for next season, according to Yorkshire Live.

There is just one confirmed player leaving the club at the end of the season, with England international Kai Pearce-Paul penning a two-year deal with Newcastle Knights in the NRL.

But the emergence of young forwards Joe Shorrocks, Harvie Hill and Junior Nsemba must fill Wigan with a lot of confidence, with all three of them excelling in the first team this season.

The club have announced a number of contract extensions in 2023 – including O’Neill, Aussie prop Kaide Ellis, England enforcer Ethan Havard and in-form Lebanese winger Abbas Miski.

You feel the club haven’t finished announcing new deals yet, either. Seven players are out of contract at the season’s end – Cade Cust, Mike Cooper, Willie Isa, Patrick Mago, Brad Singleton, Ramon Silva and Iain Thornley.

Wigan Warriors recruitment profile

In: Adam Keighran (Catalans), Kruise Leeming (Gold Coast Titans), Sam Walters (Leeds), Tiaki Chan (Catalans)

Retained/extensions: Abbas Miski, Ethan Havard, Kaide Ellis, Brad O’Neill

Out: Kai Pearce-Paul (Newcastle Knights)

Off-contract: Cade Cust (option for 2024), Mike Cooper (option for 2024), Willie Isa, Patrick Mago (option for 2024), Brad Singleton, Ramon Silva (option for 2024), Iain Thornley (option for 2024).

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