Zak Hardaker leaves Wigan to ‘pursue career opportunities closer to home’

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Zak Hardaker has left Wigan following his latest off-field issue.

A statement from the Warriors said the 30-year-old had departed in order to return to his family base in Yorkshire and “pursue career opportunities closer to home”.

Hardaker has been linked with a return to Leeds, who he played for from 2011 to 2017, being named Super League Man of Steel in 2015.

Wigan executive director Kris Radlinski said on the club website: “Zak Hardaker is a hugely talented player, universally liked by team-mates and staff.

“Everybody at Wigan Warriors has done everything they could to provide him with the platform he needed to shine at the highest level.

“As a consequence, we are all extremely disappointed that his time at the club has had to end in this way. We wish him all the best for the future.”

Zak Hardaker scores a try
Zak Hardaker has been linked with a return to Leeds (Anna Gowthorpe/PA)

Hardaker was recently dropped from the side for falling below club standards, the latest in a string of disciplinary issues.

The full-back or centre was fined and banned for homophobic comments in 2014, arrested for assault in 2015, sacked by Castleford in 2018 after failing a drugs test for cocaine and arrested for drink-driving the same year.

He signed for Wigan in May 2018 while still serving a drugs ban, making his debut in January 2019.

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