Hardaker is preparing for his first game since the drugs ban which kept him out of Castleford Tigers’ Betfred Super League Grand Final defeat to his previous club Leeds Rhinos in October, 2017.
The 27-year-old full-back will make his comeback for Wigan in a pre-season match at Salford Red Devils on Sunday. He recently completed a Sporting Chance residential course in Hampshire which was a condition of him remaining at Warriors following a drink driving conviction.
“When the drink driving happened, it was like ‘there’s something not right with me and I can’t handle it any more’,” Hardaker admitted.
“I was away 26 days and I felt like I really opened myself up. I still keep in touch with the three other guys who were in with me. We were four strangers living together in a strange environment, but when it came to the issues, sharing them was humbling and something special.
“It was sharing and it was caring and it gave me tools to go out into the real world. The things I’ve learned there are definitely helping me. It’s a work in progress. I’ll not be a new man overnight or this year or next, it’s going to the next 30, 40 or 50 years or whatever it will be. I’ve got the tools to do that.”