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Last Updated: Thursday, 4 May 2006, 14:23 GMT 15:23 UK
Wigan sign up Aussie star Barrett
Trent Barrett
Barrett had a get-out clause in his St George Illawarra contract
Wigan Warriors have signed Australia stand-off Trent Barrett on a three-year deal, starting next season.

Barrett, 28, had two years left on his St George Illawarra Dragons contract, but a get-out clause enabled him to quit the club for a move to England.

"I had a clause in my contract with St George that allowed me to leave before my contract was up," he said.

"But only if I was moving to Super League in England. I have always had the ambition to play in England."

And the Australian, who has retired from internationals to focus on his club career, said he would still join Wigan even if they were relegated from Super League.

The bottom-of-the-table Warriors have won just two of their first 12 games and face a big battle to move up the table.

Trent is a world-class player with wonderful skills
Wigan coach Brian Noble

"They're pretty confident they can claw their way back up the ladder but I'll definitely be coming," Barrett told BBC Radio Manchester. "I'll still be playing for the club.

"Let's hope it doesn't get to that. My future lies in the team's hands but they're confident they can do it."

Head coach Brian Noble was delighted to finally secure the signing of Barrett, who had been linked with Wigan earlier this year.

"This is a great signing for the club. Trent is a world-class player with wonderful skills", said Noble.

"His talent enables him to play anywhere on the field and he can cover both half-back positions or even loose forward."

St George chief executive Peter Doust paid tribute to Barrett's contribution, saying: "To acknowledge Trent Barrett is leaving the Dragons and the game of rugby league in this country is not easy to contemplate.

"I can't overstate the contributions he has made to our club since the relationship began in 1993 when he was a 16-year-old."


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