Flower commits to Wigan amid NRL interest


Wigan Warriors say they have warded off interest from the NRL by handing a new four-year contract to prop Ben Flower.

The Wales international, who hit the headlines in October 2014 when he punched a prone Lance Hohaia to earn a red card - and subsequent six-month ban - in the opening minutes of the Super League Grand Final, was due to be out of contract at the end of the season.

However, he is now set to remain at the DW Stadium until at least 2020.

Flower, described as "one of the best front-row forwards in Super League" by Wigan coach Shaun Wane, has made 90 appearances for the Warriors since joining from Crusaders RL in 2012.

Wigan chairman Ian Lenagan said: "We have been well aware of significant interest [in Flower] from many high-profile clubs, both in Super League and the National Rugby League [NRL] competitions.

"Our rugby director Kris Radlinski and I have been in negotiations with Ben's representatives for some time now and are happy that the conclusion of those negotiations have seen Ben commit his future to the Wigan club."

Flower added: "I love playing here and know that I am very lucky to be able to represent this great club.

"To be able to play in games like the World Club Series against Brisbane on Saturday is an honour and something I don't take for granted.

"My family and I are really settled in Wigan, my little boy has grown up here and we're expecting another child soon so we're settled here and that's important to me. I'm really pleased to have signed this new deal and look forward to the years ahead."