Wigan prop Andy Coley to retire at end of season

Carnegie Challenge Cup Final

Venue:
Wembley
Date:
Saturday, 27 August
Kick-off:
1430 BST
Coverage:
Watch live on BBC 1 and BBC Sport website; listen on BBC Radio 5 live sports extra, BBC Radio Manchester and BBC Radio Leeds; text commentary on BBC Sport website and mobiles
Andy Coley
Andy Coley has scored eight tries in 94 Super League games for Wigan

Wigan prop Andy Coley has announced his intention to quit rugby league at the end of the season.

But the 33-year-old former Swinton and Salford man is keen to bow out by helping Wigan win the double, starting against Leeds at Wembley on Saturday.

"I've waited a long time to play at Wembley," said Coley. "I've been trying for 15 years to get there.

"But I'm retiring this year. I made my mind up in the last week or two and hopefully I can go out on a high."

Coley, who is in his fourth season with Wigan since signing from Salford at the end of the 2007 campaign, is to return to his old job as a quantity surveyor.

And, ahead of Saturday's Challenge Cup final date with Leeds, Coley admits that it was his dream of playing at Wembley which prevented him from packing in sooner.

It was Wigan's last-minute quarter-final defeat by Leeds 15 months ago that persuaded him to sign a new contract for 2011 under coach Michael Maguire.

But, although he went on to play a key role in the club's first Grand Final triumph for 12 years, he has now decided not to take up his option for 2012.

"To be honest, getting beaten by Leeds in last season's quarter-final was the big turning point in my decision to do another year," said Coley. "Looking back now, it was a great decision.

"I ummed and ahhed and had a good chat with Michael Maguire. I thought I could easy do another year and I've been happy with my form."

Coley was rested, along with fellow front rower Lee Mossop and half-back Brett Finch, for Friday night's 60-12 Super League thumping of Bradford but is sure to be in the Wigan starting line-up for Wembley.

With only long-term absentee Stuart Fielden and short-term signing Ben Cross unavailable through injury, Maguire has a selection headache.

Paul Prescott is expected to get the nod to replace Cross, who broke an arm against Salford eight days ago, while Maguire's only other dilemma will be a choice between Gareth Hock and Liam Farrell for a place on the bench.

Hock, who has made eight appearances since completing a two-year drugs ban, was outstanding in the Warriors' big win over Bradford but must wait until later in the week before discovering if it was enough to earn him a Wembley spot.

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