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Zak Hardaker leaves Wigan to ‘pursue career opportunities closer to home’
.Hardaker has been linked with a return to Leeds.
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.”
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.