Hock joins Widnes on loan

York Press: Gareth Hock has completed his loan switch to Widnes Gareth Hock has completed his loan switch to Widnes

England forward Gareth Hock has joined Widnes on a season-long loan from Wigan, with his parent club heavily criticising him in a statement, saying he had refused to train with them in order to facilitate a move.

The Warriors confirmed the 29-year-old would spend the forthcoming season with the Vikings, adding that the deal could be extended with Widnes paying a "significant ongoing but undisclosed fee".

Hock returned to the Wigan team in the 2011 season after serving a two-year drugs ban. He regained his England place in 2012, but was continually linked with a move to Australia. That never happened and he has now made the somewhat shorter journey to Widnes.

A Wigan statement read: "Following Hock's demands for more money in mid-season, insistence at short notice in October on a move to Australia and discussions instigated by the player in December around his request to move to another Super League club, Gareth Hock refused completely after Christmas to return to rehabilitation and pre-season training at Wigan.

"He informed Wigan Warriors that he would not be continuing his career at the club, expected the club to sack him and insisted upon a move elsewhere."

Wigan chairman Ian Lenagan stood by Hock during his drugs ban, but added: "Gareth Hock has made it clear in face-to-face discussions with me and via his agent that he has no intention of playing for the Wigan club.

"This is hugely disappointing to me, to the Wigan fans and to the club who have all treated him well.

"We have gone to unique lengths to help him get his life back on track after his ban two years ago, including increasing his contract voluntarily on two separate occasions to help him financially against a backdrop of his threats to leave.

"The Wigan club has consistently supported the player and has done all that any club could be asked to do."

Hock was due to give his side of the story at Widnes's pre-season media day this morning.

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