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Now Joe Wardle signs as strengthening goes on

ROUGHYEDS are delighted to announce the signing of Leigh Leopards back-rower Joe Wardle on a two-year contract.

Joe Wardle

The deal will see Wardle become a player/assistant coach for the upcoming 2024 and 2025 seasons.

He played a key role in Leigh’s promotion back to Super League last year, scored a try in the Million Pound Game against Batley and has made seven appearances for the Leopards in 2023, writes KASEY SMITH.

“After speaking with Mike (Ford) and listening to the vision he had of bringing Oldham back to the good times, and getting the town on side, it reminded me of when I first signed for Leigh and what Derek Beaumont was trying to achieve there,” said Wardle.

“It just felt like the right move for me and I’m buzzing to have signed and to be a part of what the club is trying to achieve.

“I’m a really aggressive player, I get stuck in, I’m a good line runner and I think of myself as a bit of a leader as well.

“I want stuff to be done the right way, so I will be holding people accountable in that sense.

“I’m a hard-working, honest guy and I think I’ve still got a lot to offer so I’ll be imparting all my knowledge of the game on the lads.”

He has had a long and successful career in Super League, having chalked up more than 200 appearances and scored 76 tries in the top-flight for Huddersfield, Castleford and Bradford.

Wardle started out, professionally, at Bradford Bulls before spending six seasons playing for Huddersfield Giants, which included winning the League Leaders Shield in 2013.

The back-rower, who can also slot in at centre, has NRL experience as well, having made 17 appearances for Newcastle Knights in 2017.

Adding to that, he had international experience when representing Scotland in the 2013 World Cup and in the European Cup a year later.

“We’ve been able to attract another Super League player because of our vision, purpose and where we want to go as a club,” _said managing director Mike Ford. _

“The thing which impressed me the most was that he wanted to come and play for Oldham regardless of what league we were in.

“He can see what we are trying to build with the club and he has a willingness and an ambition to coach as well.

“Outside of the top six clubs, we want to have the best coaching structure there is in the sport, and bringing him in as player/assistant helps us to do that.

“First and foremost, Joe is coming in as a player, but he’s also going to mentor our forwards.

“We want to have a fantastic playing environment where we put the player first so that we can develop people.”

Wardle, who will arrive ahead of the 2024 season, becomes the sixth permanent signing since the board took over in March, following those of Pat Moran, Nick Rawsthorne, Josh Johnson, Jamie Ellis and Jordan Turner who, like Wardle, will arrive here later this year.

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