Chris Hankinson joined Wigan from Swinton in 2018
Chris Hankinson joined Wigan from Swinton in 2018

Wigan Warriors centre Chris Hankinson has signed for London Broncos on loan.

The 27-year-old ex-Leigh and Swinton back has penned a year-long agreement with the Championship club.

He is the latest in a string of post-season exits from Wigan, following the retirement of captain Sean O’Loughlin.

Salford signed winger Joe Burgess and forward Jack Wells, fellow forwards Joe Greenwood (Huddersfield) and Ben Flower (Leigh) also left, and half-back Josh Woods has joined Newcastle Thunder.

Fellow half-back Jake Shorrocks was also released, while French prop Romain Navarette, who spent last season on loan at Wakefield, is reported to have also been sounded out by Broncos.

With no reserve team to play in any more, and the option of dual-registration loans removed for safety reasons, both in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic, Wigan were keen to trim their squad.

“At the end of the season, Chris came to me and said that at his age he needed to be playing regularly,” said Wigan executive director Kris Radlinski.

“With no reserve grade and the cancellation of dual registration, we needed to explore other opportunities and a chance to be a starting player for London has arisen.

“Chris was an unsung hero in 2020. He was the 19th man in near enough every game. But we all feel that it is the right thing for him at this time. He will have a year in the capital, then return to Wigan in 2022.”

Hankinson has scored three tries and landed 19 goals as backup kicker in 23 games since joining Wigan in 2018 from Swinton.

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