Wigan Warriors young gun makes permanent League 1 move ahead of 2024: ‘A real talent’

Ben Olawumi
The Brick Community Stadium, Wigan

The Brick Community Stadium, the home of Wigan Warriors

Wigan Warriors utility forward Joe Baldwin has joined League 1 outfit North Wales Crusaders on a permanent basis ahead of the 2024 season.

An Orrell St James’ youngster, the 18-year-old linked up with the Warriors‘ academy in September 2019, though never made a senior competitive appearance during his four years at the DW Stadium.

Baldwin – who represented Lancashire at under-18 level – offers versatility, able to feature at loose or in a hooking role.

He featured in Wigan academy’s 18-12 semi-final win over Warrington Wolves back in September, which was later chalked off with the Wire advancing into the Grand Final against St Helens due to the Cherry and Whites using too many interchanges.

The youngster will now get a first crack at senior rugby league, linking up with Carl Forster’s side who were beaten in the League 1 play-off final by Doncaster this term.

Wigan Warriors young gun Joe Baldwin makes permanent League 1 move ahead of 2024: ‘A real talent’

Welsh outfit Crusaders confirmed the teenager’s signing via their club website. Speaking about his move, Baldwin said: “I’m really excited to have signed with the club.

“After four years at Wigan, I’m ready for the challenge of proving myself at men’s grade rugby. The coaching staff and how well the club did last year was a big factor for me in joining the club.

“I’m hoping the lads can go that one step further this year and secure promotion as well as me developing my own game under Carl Forster.”

Boss Forster – who gave an exclusive interview to Love Rugby League earlier this year – meanwhile added: “Joe is a real talent, he’s come in and looked really sharp at nine.