Zak Hardaker: Wigan Warriors full-back to begin rehabilitation after driving ban

Zak Hardaker signed for Wigan Warriors on a four-year deal in May

Wigan Warriors full-back Zak Hardaker will undergo rehabilitation for alcohol abuse after being found guilty of drink-driving.

Hardaker was banned for 20 months after admitting being more than twice the drink-drive limit in September.

The 27-year-old, who missed the whole 2018 season following a positive test for cocaine last year, said he “accepts that I have a problem”.

Wigan said they have a “duty of care” but he has “a lot of making up to do”.

“I’d like to wholeheartedly apologise for my actions,” 2015 Man of Steel Hardaker added.

“My sole focus now is confronting the issues that have stopped me becoming the player and person I’d like to be.”

Super League champions Wigan signed Hardaker in May, three months after Castleford sacked him following the positive drug test.

He received a 14-month ban after traces of cocaine were found in a urine sample shortly before Tigers’ 2017 Grand Final defeat by Leeds Rhinos, but is free to play again next month.

“Drink driving is completely unacceptable, and we are pleased the matter has been dealt with by the courts so firmly. Nonetheless, we have thought long and hard about what the correct thing to do is for Wigan,” chairman Ian Lenagan said.

“It would be easy for us to cut our losses with Zak and deny him the opportunity to play for Wigan but we are not going to do that.

“Our duty of care as employers is to help Zak address the fundamental problems that he has had for some time – issues that we believe could and should have been confronted already.”

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