Shaun Wane confirms Wigan have made no contact with Zak Hardaker

Wigan coach Shaun Wane says the club has not made contact with free agent Zak Hardaker following his departure from Castleford

Wigan Warriors head coach Shaun Wane says the club have not spoken with Zak Hardaker about a potential move to the DW Stadium.

Hardaker, the 2015 Man of Steel, is a free agent after Castleford Tigers terminated his contract on Wednesday following his failed drugs test in the weeks leading up to the 2017 Super League Grand Final.

Wane admitted an interest in signing Hardaker earlier this week but insists no contact will be made between the two parties while UK Anti-Doping continues its investigations.

“I’ve not spoken to him. I know the club has not spoken to him,” Wane said. “I don’t what the details are with him personally, from a UKAD point of view. It’s nothing to do with me.

“Whatever happens, happens.”

Wane added: “Zak is an outstanding player. When a player, no matter in any competition, becomes available – a club of our size needs to be interested in him.

“That is the situation with Zak. He is a fantastic player and he is a player that I know personally. He has been a sad loss for rugby league.”

Hardaker is facing a potential two-year ban for alleged cocaine use and Wane says it is important the 26-year-old receives the correct support once UKAD conclude their investigation.

“I do think that players need support. At the end of the day these players are very young and if they have made an error we need to make sure they have support,” said Wane.

“We have a player welfare manager, Steve McCormack, at Wigan and he does all that for us. He does a fantastic job.”

St Helens full-back Ben Barba was banned for 12 games at the start of his Saints career after testing positive for cocaine while in Australia, and Wane believes more has been made of Hardaker’s positive drugs result.

“We’ve had our problems at Wigan many years ago, St Helens have had it with Ben Barba. I don’t remember that being as such a big deal as this is,” he said.