Wales duo head to Wigan
Dudson and Flower join Warriors, new partnership announced
Last Updated: 17/11/11 4:56pm
Gil Dudson (C): Has found new club after Super League demis of Crusaders
Wigan have completed the signings of Wales internationals Gil Dudson and Ben Flower while revealing plans to boost rugby league in the duo's country ahead of the 2013 World Cup.
Prop forward Dudson and back-row forward Flower both represented Wales in the Four Nations and were looking for a new club after Crusaders pulled out of Super League.
They will again link up with Iestyn Harris at the DW Stadium as the Wales and former Crusaders coach was recently appointed as assistant to new Wigan chief Shaun Wane.
Wigan have also signed 18-year-old centre Rhodri Lloyd, who became the youngest player to appear for Wales when he made his debut against Italy in 2010 at the age of 17.
Meanwhile, the Warriors have announced a partnership with Neath-based Championship One club South Wales Scorpions, where Dave Clark will take over as head coach and also work for Wigan's player development team.
The arrangement will see Wigan players joining the Scorpions on a dual-registration basis in a partnership that could be extended to the Wrexham-based North Wales Crusaders
Wigan have also unveiled a partnership with Wales Rugby League that will feature a role for recently retired dual-code international Gareth Thomas.
Former Wigan and Great Britain full-back Kris Radlinski and prop forward Andy Coley, who like Thomas retired at the end of the 2011 season, are among the Warriors' backroom staff who will spend time in south Wales to oversee the partnership.
Wigan chairman Ian Lenagan said: "We want to help grow rugby league in Wales and ultimately to help them become more competitive on the international stage in time for the World Cup by offering advice and support and applying our expertise to the development of young rugby players in Wales.
"Our scouting network will help identify talent and feed this into the Wales RL Academy and South Wales Scorpions and then into representative teams with a preferred route into the Wigan club at Super League level for exceptional players or back into the semi-professional structures at the Scorpions or North Wales Crusaders."
It is the second major partnership Wigan have announced recently after last week confirming a link-up with English rugby union outfit Saracens.