Gareth Widdop: Warrington to sign England stand-off from St George Illawarra

Gareth Widdop's 2018 season was prematurely ended by a shoulder injury
Gareth Widdop's 2018 season was prematurely ended by a shoulder injury

Warrington Wolves have agreed to sign England stand-off Gareth Widdop from St George Illawarra from the 2020 season.

Widdop, who expressed his desire to play in Super League as recently as November, has agreed a three-year deal.

Despite having years left to run on his existing deal with the National Rugby League club, Widdop will be granted a release after finishing the 2019 season at Kogarah.

"I've been away from home for a long time now," the 29-year-old said.

"Growing up in Halifax I always had dreams of playing in Super League.

"I'm at the stage in my career now when I have that opportunity to come home and live out a childhood dream. I'm really excited for that. It's a long way off yet but it's something I'm looking forward to."

St George Illawarra have a first-refusal clause in place should Widdop seek to return to the NRL.

Widdop moved to Australia when he was 16 and was taken in by the Melbourne Storm system, initially serving as back-up full-back to Australia and Queensland star Billy Slater.

He won the NRL Premiership at the Storm, but left to join the Dragons in 2014. Widdop has played 185 NRL games and was named the Dally M stand-off of the year in 2017.

England boss Wayne Bennett was unable to call on Widdop for the recent series against New Zealand after he suffered a shoulder injury which required surgery, but he played the mid-season Test against the Kiwis in June and was a member of the 2017 World Cup squad.