Wigan sign Chris Hankinson from Swinton

Last Updated July 17 2018, 13:39Rugby League

Wigan have signed centre Chris Hankinson from Championship club Swinton and hope to give him his Super League debut in Thursday's derby with leaders St Helens.

The Warriors have paid an undisclosed transfer fee for 24-year-old Hankinson, who has scored 225 points, including 14 tries, in 51 appearances for the Lions since joining them from Leigh 18 months ago.

As part of the deal, Swinton have taken Joe Brown, Craig Mullen and Macauley Davies on loan for the rest of the 2018 season and secured access to more Wigan dual-registration players for the forthcoming Championship Shield fixtures as they seek to avoid relegation to League 1.

Hankinson, who began his professional career with Salford, has signed a contract to the end of 2020, with the option of a one-year extension, and in the short term will plug the gap created by injuries to threequarters Dan Sarginson, Oliver Gildart, Liam Forsyth and Joe Burgess.

Wigan executive director Kris Radlinski said: "Chris is a player who we've been impressed with for some time. He is a dynamic centre; possesses good footwork and is a danger with ball in hand.

"He's developed under the stewardship of Stuart Littler at Swinton and we believe that he'll come into our environment and flourish."

Hankinson said: "I'm absolutely made up with signing for the team I've grown up watching as a kid. I can't wait to get stuck in and a do a job for the club. It will be a great story to tell.

"I want to thank Swinton for their help and the support they've given me, especially Stuart Littler, Andy Mazey and Dave Peet for allowing me to take this opportunity with Wigan."

Swinton chairman Andy Mazey said: "While nobody wants to see quality players leave, as soon as it became clear Chris wished to talk to Wigan it was my job to ensure we secured the best possible deal for Swinton Lions.

"After consulting the board we came to a decision to accept a very strong and lucrative offer from Wigan Warriors for the transfer of Chris."

Wigan have left open a place in their 19-man squad for Thursday's game in the hope that they can gain clearance in time for Hankinson to make his debut.

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