Talented Wigan prospect returns to Championship on loan

·2-min read
Zach Eckersley, SWPix Credit: Alamy
Zach Eckersley, SWPix Credit: Alamy

Wigan youngster Zach Eckersley has returned to Championship outfit Widnes for a further month on loan.

Eckersley, 19, first joined John Kear’s Vikings on loan at the beginning of April, scoring a hat-trick on his debut on Good Friday in the 48-16 victory over Swinton at Heywood Road.

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He added to his tally in the club’s 23-14 victory over Barrow at home, and was named as 18th man for Wigan’s first team ahead of their Super League clash with Wakefield.  

The outside-back later featured for Wigan’s reserves during the international break, named at full-back in the 26-12 victory over Wakefield at the Robin Park Arena. 

The teenager will return to the Vikings for their upcoming league fixtures, starting with a trip to Batley Bulldogs on Monday night, live on Viaplay.

Head coach Kear said: “In such a short space of time, it has been clear to see exactly how talented a player Zach is.

“To keep him for a further month is really pleasing as we prepare for our return to action, and we are sure supporters will be excited by this news too.

“Zach has already demonstrated a number of excellent qualities, both in attack and defence, which make him a perfect fit for this group.

“He is a player who has a bright future ahead, and we look forward to furthering his development in a competitive environment.”

Wigan boss excited for Zach Eckersley future

Wigan head coach Matt Peet has previously praised the youngster, who made his way through Wigan’s youth ranks after joining the scholarship aged 14.

He made his Super League debut off the bench against Hull KR in August 2022 as one of seven debutants, and Peet has been impressed by what he’s seen by Eckersley’s performances so far this year with Widnes. 

“I think you want the lads to look like Wigan players whether they’re wearing a Wigan shirt or not,” said Peet. 

“I’m really pleased with Zach and he’s another quality player.

“It’s important that he features in our first team at some point this year.

“He looked like a player we need to create opportunities for and he’s putting pressure on the players above him.

“John Duffy (transition coach) is doing a really good job as is John Winder with our reserve grade; and our pathways with Shane Eccles.”

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