Wigan’s Zak Hardaker has recounted the period immediately following his failed drugs test in 2017.

Hardaker missed that season’s Grand Final with Castleford after testing positive for cocaine and was banned from the sport in two days.

He told the Out of Your League podcast: “I didn’t know what to do, so I just jumped in my car and went off.

“I sat by the canal for about an hour just wishing something would take me away from here.

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“I rang my mate and told him I’d get my passport and go on holiday – that was just me trying to cope with it.

“My missus had my passport and I told her I was going, but she said that wherever I was going she’d be going with me.

“So, we ended up booking a little chalet in Windermere for five days, went up there, switched my phone off.

“I switched my phone off after the Grand Final and saw that Cas had lost, which made me feel even worse, because I like to think that if I’d played it might have been a different result.

“I had the feel of guilt and of letting everybody down, and everybody was talking about it, but I was in my own little bubble.

“I’ve often gone off and done something I wasn’t supposed to on the back of not being able to deal with pressure.

“I’ve never been great at handling pressure.”