WIGAN received a huge boost ahead of the Challenge Cup Final with confirmation Shaun Wane will be staying at the club next season.
Chairman Ian Lenagan told the Evening Post that he has taken out an option on the head coach’s deal for 2014.
His announcement will end speculation about Wane’s future, which included a link with NRL side New Zealand Warriors.
And it will be warmly welcomed by many fans after the former prop (pictured) guided his hometown club to Wembley and third in the Super League ladder.
Lenagan said he was “delighted” to keep Wane on, saying: “He has done everything we have asked of him, and as far as we’re concerned, it would have been silly not to.
“We can all see the input he’s made on the team and the way the players have responded to having Shaun as the head coach.”
Last season, in Wane’s first as head coach, Wigan finished the Super League season in top-spot. He was also Michael Maguire’s assistant when the Warriors won Grand Final and Challenge Cup glory in 2010 and 2011 respectively.
This weekend he will have a chance to guide Wigan to further Cup honours when they tackle Hull FC at Wembley. The squad trained yesterday and Wane plans to tell the players his line-up today.
They leave the DW Stadium tomorrow – fans are invited to wave them off from noon.
Though Wane will be staying on in 2014, Sam Tomkins is expected to head to the NRL to join the New Zealand Warriors next season.
And one man who will be watching developments closely is Tony Iro, the Wigan and Kiwi legend who has arrived in the country on a fact-finding trip.
Iro, the New Zealand national team manager, believes Tomkins’ link-up with the NRL Warriors is “a done deal”.
“I’m looking forward to him being in the competition,” said Iro, a team-mate of Wane’s when Wigan won the Challenge Cup in 1988. “He is up to the standard in the NRL and whether it’s with the Warriors or anyone else, I am sure he has got what it takes to make an impact.”
l DAVE Whelan says it took only “five minutes” to agree a sponsorship deal which will see the DW Sports Fitness logo emblazoned across the front of Wigan’s shirts at Wembley.
The Warriors, who will receive a “substantial” five-figure fee, are seeking a permanent replacement sponsor for Applicado, which is no longer in operation.
Whelan said: “I spoke with Ian Lenagan and it took only five minutes to agree a one-off payment.
“I hope it brings good luck for the Warriors so we can have that Challenge Cup trophy back in town again where it belongs.”