Wigan Warriors: Matt Peet responds to Zak Hardaker departure

Matt Peet Wigan Warriors

Wigan Warriors head coach Matt Peet has spoken to the media for the first time since the announcement of Zak Hardaker’s departure. 

The Wigan centre, winger or full-back has been released early from his contract.

Hardaker, 30, was dropped from the team selection during the Easter period for dipping below off-field standards.

He has been released by the Warriors to return to his family base in Yorkshire to pursue career opportunities closer to home.

Matt Peet addresses media

“Firstly, I want to put on record my best wishes to Zak,” Peet said.

“There’s a genuine desire and want from this club to see him be OK and thrive as a person first and foremost. We all know he can play rugby but we just want to see him have a happy and content life. Whatever support he needs, the club and the game remain there for him. 

“The lads have all been involved in our culture and wish him well. He’s a friend first and foremost and that’s how I feel. I hope he’s alright.

“It’s difficult because there’s a level of care for Zak and a want to see him come here and meet the standards. But as well, we know what we have to do for the best of the club. I know what culture we’re trying to build

“To have standards, you have to have accountability, whether that’s in team selection or people not remaining on the journey and that’s unfortunately where it’s got to.”

Wigan Warriors to search transfer market?

The departure will now leave room on Wigan’s cap space for the remainder of the 2022 campaign. Although admitting it’s still early days, Peet said it could be a conversation for the future.

“We always have one eye on that,” Peet told Love Rugby League.

“There’s cap space there but that hasn’t been mentioned at all yet. It was a stand-alone decision.

“In an ideal world, Zak would still be here. He is a quality player and popular member of the group. Zak at his best adds a lot.

“That discussion might come up at some point but my mind is very much focussed on the game with Salford.”

Wigan make their Channel 4 debut this Sunday as they welcome Salford to the DW Stadium.

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About Josh McAllister 1307 Articles
Journalist. Joined the Love Rugby League team full time at the start of 2022 having been a freelance reporter for several years. Previously media manager for Swinton and Rochdale.

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