Ex-Wigan centre Anthony Gelling training with Warriors
Former Wigan centre Anthony Gelling has been training with the New Zealand Warriors in the hope of keeping his rugby league career alive after moving to Auckland to be near to his family.
Gelling, who is best known to NRL fans for infamously charging down a goal kick by Brisbane's Corey Parker during the 2015 World Club Series, played six seasons in Super League but decided to move home after his girlfriend was injured in a car accident last November.
The Cook Islands international, who can also back in the back row, returned to pre-season training with Wigan before Christmas but was granted a release earlier this month and is now trying to resolve his future.
Initially told that the Warriors were unable to accommodate him after signing New Zealand Test centres Gerard Beale and Peta Hiku, Gelling has this week begun training with the club but it remains unclear if he will eventually be offered a contract.
The Warriors confirmed Gelling, who played under-20s for Sydney Roosters and NSW Cup for Auckland Vulcans before joining Wigan in 2012, had been training with them but declined to comment further.
The 27-year-old has indicated he is not interested in playing for another NRL club as his reason for leaving Wigan was to be closer to his partner and family in New Zealand.
If he returns to England, he has an agreement giving Wigan the first option on his services.
Gelling, a fan favourite in Super League because of his colourful antics on and off the field as well as his playing ability, recently posted a blog on his website explaining the reasons behind his decision to leave Wigan.
"My girlfriend and I had kept in touch via long distance during the 2017 campaign," he wrote. "Another year of facetime and text messaging seemed like a mountain to climb and I was willing to try.
"But when I received news that she was seriously injured in a car accident it quickly put things in perspective.
"The question now is where to from here. As far as playing [the] glorious game and my late attempts to join the New Zealand Warriors, it looks as though there is no room at the Inn.
"I have looked into rugby union later in the year and even the prospect of heading to university full time.
"Wherever I end up I know one thing is certain. I'll never be finished with rugby league - the game, the togetherness, the humour, the people."