MICHAEL Maguire is close to deciding whether to let some of the club’s exciting young players leave for spells away from Wigan.
The new Championship season begins on Thursday and Maguire may be tempted to use the competition to accelerate the development of the next crop of talented teenagers.
Liam Farrell, Josh Charnley and Stefan Marsh had dual-registrations with lower-league clubs last year – and all three went on to make their Super League debuts later in the season.
Maguire said: “We’re starting to go through the process now, there may be some opportunities for some players in the next few weeks.
“We’ll look at each player individually and consider what is the best way for them to work their way towards the first-team here.”
Widnes, coached by Wigan legend Denis Betts, have already expressed a willingness to strike a deal with the Warriors.
Dual-registrations were introduced last season and allow clubs to switch between their parent Super League club and a Championship or Championship One club on a week-to-week basis.
Maguire also has the option of using the loan system, which would allow his players to have stints at other Super League clubs for a minimum of a month.
Wigan already have two players on loan – Karl Pryce and Joe Mellor are both at Harlequins.
Pryce came off the bench to open the scoring in Quins’ 18-10 loss to Huddersfield last Friday night, while Mellor is still waiting for his chance.
With the Super League season now four weeks’ old, Wigan are free to recall them at any point but Maguire is happy for the pair to continue in the capital.
He said: “They’re getting good opportunities down there.
“Joe had a bit of sickness when he got there which set him back a bit, but he’s over that now and edging closer to the team, and Karl’s had his chances.”
Maguire, and chairman Ian Lenagan, are still refusing to comment on intensifying speculation that Martin Gleeson has been sacked for breaching club discipline rules.
l WIGAN breathed a sigh of relief last night when the RFL took no further action against Jeff Lima for an alleged dangerous tackle against Salford.
The Kiwi was penalised for the offence on the hour-mark in last Friday’s 32-16 victory, and some feared he may face a ban given he had just served a two-game suspension for two ‘chicken-wing’ tackles in his only other game.
But the RFL viewed footage of the incident yesterday and decided no further action was necessary. Andy Coley and Sean O’Loughlin were also let-off for making dangerous contact on Adam Sidlow.
l Ticket news – page 29