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Wednesday, 17 September 2014

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Ex-Wigan star signs for Workington Town

Workington Town have increased their firepower by signing highly-rated half-back James Coyle.

James Coyle photo
James Coyle with director Malcolm Allison and team manager Brian Ritson

The former Wigan academy youngster, who will be 27 at the end of the month, was in west Cumbria last night to sign for the Championship club.

Coyle, who was capped by England as an academy player at Wigan, is making a return to the professional ranks after taking a season out. He had been setting up his own shop-fitting business and was travelling the country, so rugby league took a back seat.

Very highly rated as a youngster at Wigan, he played four Super League games for the cherry and whites.

He actually made his senior debut against Whitehaven in a Challenge Cup game.

Coyle had captained the 2003 England Academy U17s squad that beat the Australian Institute of Sport for the first time. Coyle was also selected for the 2004 Academy Origin Series.

He was included in the Wigan Warriors first team squad for the first time in 2005 and made his debut off the bench against Hull.

Coyle made his full debut the next weekend against Whitehaven in the Challenge Cup and had a man-of-the-match winning performance.

But competition for places at Wigan is tough and from 2007 to 2009 he played at Oldham before linking up with Town’s Cumbrian neighbours Barrow.

Unfortunately his two years at Craven Park was interrupted by a knee injury and in 2011 he moved to Widnes.

He comes from a real rugby league background with both his father Bernard and grandfather Bernard senior having played for Wigan, while brother Thomas is also a professional, having recently signed for Leigh.

Coyle was signed at Town’s latest training session held in Lakes College after originally agreeing terms two weeks ago.

Town coach Gary Charlton expressed his satisfaction at signing Coyle, to increase the competition for half-back places next season when Workington move up to the Championship.

“James is a good player. He organises well, can break the line and score tries, as well as being a good defensive player.

“As soon as we knew he was available for 2013 we agreed that he would be an excellent recruit for us.

“I’m just looking forward to seeing him in a Workington shirt as I’m sure he has a big part to play in our season.”

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