Wigan Warriors have announced the signing of forward Joe Greenwood from the Gold Coast Titans, just hours after the release of Joel Tomkins to Hull Kingston Rovers.
The second rower moved to the NRL from St Helens at the start of last year, but has struggled for game time this season and returns to Super League with immediate effect.
He replaces Tomkins, whose departure was announced following his involvement in a video that showed him abusing bar staff.
Greenwood is a former Super League winner with Saints, and brings experience to a club that has been rocked on and off the field in recent weeks.
Since the announcement of Shaun Wane’s departure at the end of the season, the Warriors have lost three matches on the spin and had to deal with the incident involving Tomkins and his brother Sam.
Former Saddleworth Rangers junior Greenwood has signed a three-and-a-half year deal with Wigan.
He said: “I am really pleased to have signed a long-term deal for Wigan and to move on to the next chapter in my career.
“Wigan is a massive club and speaking a few times to Ian Lenagan and Kris Radlinski I felt it was the right decision to make and a great opportunity for me. I can’t wait to get over there and get stuck into the business end of the season.”
Wigan executive director Kris Radlinski said that Greenwood will be “a great addition to our squad”.
“We have been engaged in discussions with Joe and his representatives for a good few weeks now but last week, negotiations progressed quickly and we are now in a position to announce him signing for Wigan.
“We have not got an arrival date yet as Joe has to sort out a few things in Australia but we anticipate that he will be with us towards the end of the month.”
On Tomkins’ departure, Radlinski said: “Since Joel’s suspension, conversations have taken place surrounding his long-term future at the Club. Joel made a very remorseful statement and the discussions that have taken place since echo that.
“Everyone has commented on the video but the hardest thing for me is that the video is not a true reflection of the man I know.
“The images on that video will haunt Joel for a long time but we can’t let that moment of madness detract from what a fantastic career he has had at the Club.”
Wigan’s loss is the gain of Hull KR, who have secured his services until the end of the 2019 season.
Tomkins said: “I’m sure everybody is aware of what’s gone on at Wigan and I accepted the punishment from them.
“After sitting down with my family and thinking a bit harder about it, I decided that the best thing for all parties would be for me to leave the club and I offered my resignation to Kris Radlinski, which he accepted.
“It has been embarrassing for me, there’s no doubt about that, and it’s a sad situation for me to leave Wigan in this way, but it’s also an opportunity for me to move to a club that’s on the rise and that has some big plans moving forward. I’m genuinely excited to be a part of that.”
Hull KR head coach Tim Sheens was delighted to secure the services of Tomkins to a side sitting second from bottom in Super League, five points off the top eight.
“We’ve been actively looking to strengthen the side for the back end of the season, whether that be securing a top-eight finish or retaining our place in Super League via the Qualifiers, and Joel adds a lot of big game experience to the squad which will be vital in some of the key matches which lie ahead,” he said.
“We’re fully aware of what’s gone on over the past week or so, but I’ve spoken to a lot of people who know Joel well and they all agree that the incident was out of character for him.
“He’ll get an opportunity to redeem himself with us and we’ll be working closely with him to ensure he takes it with his actions on and off the field.”
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