Wighton seeks Raiders impact before departure to Souths
Far from being ostracised, Jack Wighton says he's feeling the love after deciding to depart Canberra for South Sydney from next NRL season.
Weeks on from seeing his emotions spill over after announcing his contract news, the Raiders five-eighth was all smiles on Tuesday and replaced his tears with a determination to end his 15-year Canberra tenure on a high.
A number of Raiders teammates have declared their desire to win a premiership for Wighton, but the 30-year-old was adamant his departure shouldn't be a bigger motivating factor than replicating Canberra's former glory.
"It's not about me, it's about the club," Wighton said.
"We've got a rich history and every time we put the jersey on we're representing the old boys and what this club's done before.
"There's a bigger picture than me but it's really good, I do feel the love from the lads … some things happen for a reason.
"We've used it as a positive, the boys know how much they mean to me and the club knows how much it means to me.
"The decision was made and everybody's got on with a job and we've all bonded together and made a real pact to try and do something."
Much like their surge in their back half of 2022, the Raiders' football is only improving with the more time Wighton spends in the halves with Jamal Fogarty, the halfback's kicking game seeing him pull the strings of the Canberra attack.
Fogarty has forced five dropouts and assisted four tries in his last four games, Wighton suggesting it was their role to keep bringing the best out of the whole team.
"He's taken a lot of ownership on leading the team around and it's helped my game with my running and doing my thing," he said.
"He's absolutely killing it, I love playing with him and he's really shining.
"It's a collective, if just us two are clicking it's not gonna help the team, you know what I mean?
"All the forwards are doing their job, the backs are doing their job and we're filling in on the end of it."
Fogarty agreed time to once again learn each other's strengths was helping him find top gear.
"Last year we didn't play a whole lot of games together and then pre-season Jack goes on World Cup duty, so it's obviously going to take a little bit of time," the 29-year-old said.
"We haven't had many disruptions so far, we're understanding what we're trying to do as a halves pairing and we're finding a little bit of form there."