Wigan Warriors are delighted to confirm the signings of outside back Iain Thornley and prop forward Ramon Silva.
Both players have signed on two-year deals with the option of a third year.
Thornley, 30, who can play at centre or on the wing, returns to his hometown Club – seven years after leaving.
Starting out in Wigan’s Academy system, Thornley – aged 18 – switched codes to Rugby Union to joins Sale Sharks. After playing for Sale and a stint at Leeds Carnegie, he re-joined Wigan and went on to play 45 games and score 30 tries in his four seasons at the Club between 2012 and 2015. He was part of the 2013 double and became a Super League and Challenge Cup winner.
Since then, he has played for Hull KR, Catalans Dragons and most recently Leigh Centurions. In 2021, Thornley made 20 appearances for the Leythers, including the opening round of the season where he scored a try against Wigan.
Silva, 20, joins Wigan from London Broncos’ Academy. Born in Sao Paulo, Brazil, he moved over to the UK with his parents when he was three-years-old.
Before playing Rugby League, Silva competed in mixed martial arts including jiu-jitsu, boxing and MMA fighting. He took part in a Nationals competition for Olympic Wrestling aged 13.
His Rugby League career started at the age of 15 as he started playing for Elmbridge Eagles Rugby League Club. After playing four games, Silva impressed and was signed up by London Broncos.
Silva spent three seasons within London’s Academy system and in his first year he played alongside his now Wigan teammate Kai Pearce-Paul.
After signing their contracts with the Warriors, both Thornley and Silva have arrived at Robin Park Arena as preparations begin for the 2022 season.
On re-joining the Warriors, Thornley said: “I’m made up. I’m really excited and I can’t wait to get started. Wigan were really keen, and I was made up.
“It’s been a full circle for me. I started at Wigan when I was 11-year-old, so it’s great to be back and see familiar faces. Being a Wigan lad, I can’t wait to represent the badge and shirt again.
“My aim is to show what I can do and show why I’ve been signed. I want to come in and knuckle down in pre-season, do my best to get that starting spot and show what I can do on the pitch.”
On signing for Wigan, Silva said: “It’s the dream to sign for Wigan. I know a lot of people would do anything to get to where I am and have this opportunity. I’m very proud and thankful for the opportunity.
“My plan is to improve as much as I can and to strive to be a key player. I’m looking forward to meeting everyone and getting stuck in.
“I’m excited to make everyone proud – my family and friends in Brazil and all the Wigan fans here. I’d also like to say thank you to my parents, especially my dad. He’s helped me to get to where I am today.”
Executive Director, Kris Radlinski, commented: “Both players will add size and strength to our squad. Iain had a strong campaign in what was a difficult season for Leigh. When reviewing his footage and discussing the possibility of re-signing Iain with the Coaching Team, we all felt that his size, attitude and desire to win things again with Wigan meant that this was a good option for us.
“Ramon is a terrific prospect for Wigan, and we beat off challenges from other Super League clubs to attract him. Ramon has a great friendship with Kai Pearce-Paul who speaks highly of his work ethic and potential. I met Ramon and his father in a London hotel, and I left feeling super enthused about the meeting. He has a background in mixed martial arts and recently became a black belt in jiu-jitsu. His hunger and determination to succeed makes him an exciting acquisition for us.”
Head Coach, Matt Peet, added: “Iain will bring competition across our backline. We believe his natural ability, combined with his determination, makes him a great fit for us. Personally, I am really excited to work with him.
“We have been tracking Ramon over the past couple of seasons and have been impressed by his work rate and physical attributes. We take pride in developing young players and feel that his character will be a great addition to the squad.”
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