The Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs and Des Hasler part ways, effectively immediately.
3 days ago
Bowen has spent his entire playing career with North Queensland Cowboys in the NRL and has made 270 appearances crossing for 130 tries, landing 36 goals and 5 drop goals, and scoring a total of 597 points. Matthew has represented Queensland on ten occasions in State of Origin Football and has also played a Test match for Australia in 2004.
The 31 year old made his NRL debut at the age of 19 in the 2002 season and has gone on to be the all-time games record holder for the Cowboys, bringing up his 250th for the club in the finals game against Brisbane Broncos in 2012. Bowen was part of the Cowboys' 2005 Grand Final team and has played a part in each of the Club's NRL finals campaigns.
The Full back has been the NRL's leading try-scorer in both 2005 and 2007 and holds the North Queensland record for most tries in a season with 22.
He was named Dally M Fullback of the Year, Cowboy of the Year and Players' Player of the Year in 2007 and in 2012 he finished as runner-up in the Dally M Medal behind Canterbury's Ben Barba after an outstanding campaign. In 2013 he has continued to earn rave reviews for his outstanding performances and his quick, dynamic and elusive running style has made him a firm fans favourite.
Speaking about the signing of Bowen, Chairman Ian Lenagan said;
"We are thrilled to be able to announce the addition of Matty to our squad for the 2014 season. He is a World Class player who will add both quality and experience to our side and will provide an excellent replacement for Sam Tomkins.
"Matty has all the qualities we are looking for both on and off the field and his experience will prove invaluable to the young players here at the Club. It is a great opportunity for the likes of Ryan Hampshire and Lewis Tierney to continue their learning under one of the best Full-Backs in the game. Matthew has played at the very highest level for his Club, in State of Origin and for his Country and is a marquee signing for us.
"He is really excited about an opportunity to play Super League after an outstanding career with the Cowboys and we look forward to him joining the Club for pre-season."
Head Coach Shaun Wane said;
"Matty Bowen is an excellent signing for us; his qualities as a top Full Back are recognised worldwide. His defensive game is outstanding and his ability to open up any opposition in attack with his skill and flair are second to none. It is fantastic that we have been able to sign Matty and after speaking to him it is clear he has the hunger and desire to continue his success with us here at Wigan."
Matthew Bowen added;
"I am thrilled to be joining Wigan and this opportunity provides me with a whole new chapter in my playing career. I would like to thank everyone at the Cowboys for all they have done for me, I have
had some fantastic times with the Club and I take with me some very special memories. I would have never contemplated signing for another Club in the NRL.
"When I learned of Wigan's interest it was an easy decision to make. I feel I still have a lot to offer as a player and competing in England is a new exciting challenge for me. I did have options at North Queensland and will no doubt return their in some capacity in the future but right now joining the Warriors is the right decision for me and my career and I can't wait to meet up with my new team mates. Wigan are a huge name in the game and I am excited about playing in the English Super League.
"The Club has an excellent history of providing its own home grown talent and as well as playing my part on the field, I am also looking forward to help develop the Club's young stars with the experience I have been able to gain from my time in the game."