World Cup winner calls time on representative career

Josh McAllister
Jack Wighton, PA Images


World Cup winner and New South Wales utility Jack Wighton has called time on his representative career, according to reports Down Under. 

It’s a blow for NSW ahead of the 2023 State of Origin campaign, with Wighton having played 10 games for the Blues across the halves, centres and off the bench.

The 30-year-old was also a part of the World Cup winning Australia squad that defeated Samoa 30-10 at Old Trafford last year, featuring in the centres throughout the campaign with five appearances.

Wighton has won seven caps for the Kangaroos, first making his debut in 2019.

The representative utility also made his first New South Wales appearance in 2019, making his debut off the bench at Suncorp Stadium in Game I.

He replaced Latrell Mitchell in the centres in Game II, helping the side to a 38-6 victory in Perth.

And he was a part of the Origin decider that year as the side won the series with a 26-20 scoreline at ANZ Stadium.

Wighton played the first of last year’s Origin clashes in the centres, marking his 10th straight representative game for the Blues.

He was ruled out of the second game due to Covid-19, and was not selected for the third match with Stephen Crichton and Matt Burton named in the centres.

The playmaker has also represented the Indigenous All Stars on six occasions.

Jack Wighton decision a blow to NSW

Blues selector and adviser Greg Alexander has called the decision a ‘shame’ on Fox League coverage, although is hopeful he and Blues head coach Brad Fittler could change Wighton’s mind.

“I had heard he was considering being done with representative football, which would be a shame, it really would,” Alexander said.

“Jack has been a big part of the side over the last five seasons. He’s had some great games for New South Wales.

“Hopefully me or Freddy (Brad Fittler) can get on the phone and, if he is considering it, turn him around, because we might need him this year.”

This year’s State of Origin series kicks-off on May 31, with Game II on June 21 and Game III on July 12.

“Jack spoke to Freddy and has told him of his disappointing decision to retire from representative football,” Alexander also told the Sydney Morning Herald.

“He has said that he wants to focus on family and club footy. It’s a blow for us.

“He has been an important part of our squad for the last five years and would have been in the mix again. We’ve loved having Jack in camp and in the team.

“He’s been a great player not only for NSW, but for Australia and the Indigenous All Stars.

“It’s disappointing he won’t be able to be part of this series.”

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