Wigan Warriors’ Joe Shorrocks explains reasons behind Salford Red Devils switch: ‘A move that’s best for me at this stage in my career’

Ben Olawumi
Joe Shorrocks, Wigan Warriors badge, Salford Red Devils badge

Joe Shorrocks - Alamy

Salford Red Devils’ newest recruit Joe Shorrocks says his move away from Wigan Warriors is one he needed to make at this stage in his career.

Love Rugby League exclusively revealed that Salford were interested in the Warriors academy product back on November 1, with the transfer confirmed tonight.

At 23, utility Shorrocks exits the DW Stadium as a Super League champion, featuring 18 times this year as Matt Peet’s side lifted their first title since 2018.

14 of those appearances saw him named in the starting 13, though the forward was very much used to plug gaps, featuring in various positions but not being utilised by boss Peet in the play-offs.

Named as the unused 18th man at Old Trafford against Catalans Dragons in last month’s Super League Grand Final, and knows that with additions including Luke Thompson next year, he would likely have slipped down the Cherry and Whites’ pecking order.

Newest Salford Red Devils recruit Joe Shorrocks delivers verdict after moving on from Wigan Warriors

Shorrocks joins team-mate Cade Cust – who had fallen down the pecking order at the DW Stadium – in making the move from Wigan to Salford ahead of the 2024 season.

Penning a three-year deal, he becomes Paul Rowley’s sixth new addition in total – adding to Cust, Nene Macdonald, Ethan Ryan, Matty Foster and Kai Morgan.

Speaking to Salford’s website, the Super League’s top tackler in 2023 explained his choice to join the club. Shorrocks said: “I am made up to be joining the club.

“Ever since I spoke to Paul and Ian (Blease, Director of Rugby & Operations) about coming to play for Salford, it is something that has excited me, and it is a move that I think is best for me at this stage in my career.

“I spoke to a few of the lads that I know there already and they have had nothing but positive things to say about the club, so I’m really happy to be joining.”

Salford boss hails sixth off-season signing Joe Shorrocks: ‘His character and ambition are first class’

Four years on from his senior debut, the utility began this year on loan with Wigan’s neighbours Leigh Leopards, featuring four times for Adrian Lam’s men before being recalled by Peet.

The only other club he’s ever donned a shirt for at senior level is London Skolars, also as a loanee back in 2019 as the outfit from the capital were beaten by Whitehaven.

Linking up with the Red Devils on a contract running until the end of the 2026 season, new boss Rowley couldn’t speak highly enough of his new man.

Rowley added: “I am delighted to welcome Joe into our group. I have enjoyed watching Joe’s progress over the last couple of years and respected his work ethic, and ability.

“After speaking with Joe, it was clear that his character and ambition are first class, and a perfect fit for our team. We are all looking forward to working alongside Joe and look forward to him pulling on the Salford jersey.”

Wigan Warriors boss pays tribute to departing utility ace

Billinge-born Shorrocks spent 10 years at Wigan after arriving at his hometown club at scholarship level back in 2014.

Shorrocks, who has two League Leaders’ Shields to his name, made 75 appearances for the Warriors after making his first team debut back in 2019.

Wigan coach Matt Peet said: “We completely understand Joseph’s decision to move on. It has been a pleasure to coach him for me and the rest of the Wigan staff.

“He is an excellent all-round player who deserves to show what he is capable of week in and week out. We thank Joe for all his hard work and wish him all the best for the future.”

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