Fielden to leave Wigan

PA Sport
Stuart Fielden has not been offered a new Wigan deal
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Stuart Fielden has not been offered a new Wigan deal

Wigan are to part company with prop forward Stuart Fielden, the former Great Britain international who cost them a world-record transfer fee of £440,000 when he joined them from Bradford in 2006.

Fielden, who turned 33 earlier this month, has not been offered a new contract after making just two appearances in the last two seasons due to injury.

"It was a very difficult decision. He has been a wonderful player and a superb role model," said Wigan coach Shaun Wane.

"His commitment and attitude to training and getting back to fitness after two terrible years is a real credit to him. Now fully fit, Stuart is at the stage of his career where he is looking for a regular place in the side and, with stiff competition for places, we are unable to guarantee that here at Wigan.

"We feel sure that a move elsewhere would be in his best interest. We thank Stuart for his superb service and wish him all the best for the future."

Fielden, who was widely acknowledged as the best front-rower in the game when he left Bradford midway through the 2006 season, has made 141 appearances in his seven campaigns with the Warriors.

He played a significant role in the 2010 title triumph which helped him earn an international recall with a place on England's tour of Australia and New Zealand for the Four Nations Series.

But a knee injury, followed by a torn pectoral muscle, restricted him to just one game in 2011 while his start against St Helens in the last match of the regular season earlier this month proved to be his farewell appearance.

Wigan chairman Ian Lenagan added: "Stuart Fielden is a unique character - intense, committed, super fit and exemplary in his training effort. He has done well for Wigan and deserves regular first-team rugby which he will undoubtedly get at another club. Our developing youngsters may preclude that option for him at Wigan."

Wigan are also parting company with former Melbourne prop Jeff Lima at the end of the season and are thought to have lined up Hull KR front-rower Scott Taylor as a replacement.

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