14th October 2018, 22:39 | Wigan

Sarginson dedicates Grand Final ring to younger brother

Sarginson dedicates Grand Final ring to younger brother

Wigan Warriors’ England international Dan Sarginson dedicated his Betfred Super League Grand Final ring to his late younger brother.

Adam died six weeks ago at the age of 23 – a campaign has been set up to raise funds in his memory for mental health and cancer research charities – and Dan says he needed counselling to help him get through Saturday’s match.

“My little brother came two years ago when we won it and it was one of the best days of his life,” said Dan after the Warriors’ 12-4 triumph over Warrington Wolves at Old Trafford.

“I had about an hour on Friday night when I needed a couple of coaches to calm me down because I was in a bit of a state.

“I just wanted to go out there and win for him. I wasn’t thinking about anything else and that still hasn’t sunk in yet.

“I’m sure there will be more tears later, but I’ve done it for him.

“My other brother was here and has experienced that today and my grandma who never really gets to see me play. There were so many special moments to take from this game.”

Sarginson insisted on playing in Wigan’s Super League game against Wakefield Trinity on September 6, just days after his brother’s death, and forward John Bateman was stunned by his team-mate’s bravery.

“It came as a big shock when he told us,” Bateman said. “I’m close to my brother and if that happened, I don’t know what I’d do.

“But he’s an absolute role model, for what he’s done. He’s an inspiration to anyone out there, how he’s come through it. He played the following week and he’s been one of our best players.”

Bateman, who is moving to Canberra in 2019, was one of three Wigan players making their last appearances for the club while long-serving coach Shaun Wane also bowed out after the final whistle.

But Wane insisted in the post-match press conference that the focus should be on winger Dom Manfredi’s two-try contribution in only his fifth game back from a two-year injury lay-off and Sarginson agreed.

“It’s unbelievable,” he said. “When he played his first game back and scored a couple of tries, that was a great feeling when I consider how close I am to Dom.

“Some of the conversations I had with his mum about how nervous he was about coming back, and how close he was to quitting rugby, I was pretty emotional when he came back.

“To see him out there again today, he’s definitely one of the best wingers in the competition by far.”

Meanwhile, on a night of high emotion in the Wigan camp, the most popular send-off was reserved for Wane, who will take up a role with the Scottish Rugby Union after bringing to a close his 30 years of service to his home-town club.

“He was very emotional,” Sarginson said. “The boys usually put a rain jacket on for when he talks!

“He’s probably a bit scared to cry in front of us but it was very emotional and I don’t think he realises how much he’s going to miss this team.

“Usually the cameras only catch the angry side of him or him cheering when we score a try.

“There is a lot more to Waney than meets the eye.”