12 Jan 2018

Warriors sign Super League centre

2:40 pm on 12 January 2018

Former Wigan centre Anthony Gelling, who has returned to Auckland after six seasons in England, has signed a one-year contract with the Warriors.

Anthony Gelling played six season for Wigan

Anthony Gelling played six season for Wigan Photo: Photosport

After being given an early release on compassionate grounds by Wigan, the Cook Islands international was invited to train with the Warriors this week, and impressed coach Stephen Kearney.

Gelling's return was "a stroke of luck" for the Warriors, Kearney said.

"He proved himself in the Super League and has immediately impressed us at training this week.

"We're thrilled we've been able to add him to our squad. He brings size and some special skills, providing further depth and increasing competition among our outside backs."

In his six seasons with Wigan, 27-year-old Gelling scored 52 tries in 114 appearances, and was a part of the club's 2016 premiership-winning side.

He last played in New Zealand in 2011, when he was in the Warriors' feeder side the Auckland Vulcans, who lost to the Canterbury-Bankstown in the dying moments of the New South Wales Cup final.

The same season he tasted success at Auckland club level when the Howick Hornets won the Fox Memorial premiership for the first time.

He also represented the Cook Islands at the 2013 Rugby League World Cup.

Gelling said after six seasons in England, he was keen to return home.

"Rugby league wasn't the reason I came home," he said.

"I'd had six seasons in England and I really wanted to be back in New Zealand around my family. I'm grateful for everything Wigan did for me and for allowing me to head home early.

"I wasn't sure what would happen with my career but the opportunity came up to train with the Warriors this week and now I'm excited about signing for the club."