James in frame for a new deal

Jordan James of Wigan Warriors
Jordan James of Wigan Warriors

JORDAN James is playing his way towards a new contract.

The veteran put a move into coaching on ice at the start of this year and penned a one-year playing deal after impressing in training.

Although James turns 34 next month, Shaun Wane has been impressed with his contribution.

The former Salford front-rower will be shouldered with more responsibility in coming weeks following injuries to Eddy Pettybourne and Ben Flower, and a one-game suspension to Gil Dudson.

Wane said: “I don’t need to make the call yet but I’ve been impressed with Jordan, and I’m leaning towards going with him again.

“I like him, he’s a good player.

“Technically he gets what we’re about, and that’s the hardest thing for a front-rower when they come here, but he’s got in straight away and that tells me he’s got some smarts about him.

“He’s a good guy too.”

A former Royal Marine Commando who had a stint with Wigan earlier in his career, James has spent time coaching juniors in recent weeks.

He is learning the ropes ahead of a move on to the staff when he does hang up his boots – whether that’s this year or next.

Wane says he will wait until next month before he gives more serious thought about his off-contract players, also including Blake Green, Anthony Gelling and Darrell Goulding.

But he has offered assurances that Logan Tomkins still has a future with Wigan despite being loaned to Salford for the rest of the season.

“Definitely, yes,” he said. “If he can fix up what he needs to fix up then he’ll definitely play for us.

“He understands what he needs to improve, and playing a lot of game time for Salford will help him do that.

“I watched him play against Leeds last weekend and he played really well.

“He’s smart, I like him, I just couldn’t guarantee him game-time here, so it made sense for everyone.”

Wane will today name his 19-man squad for Sunday’s visit of Hunslet. Matty Bowen, Matty Smith, Joe Burgess and Scott Taylor will all come into the reckoning after being rested for last Monday’s record-equaling 84-6 thumping of Bradford.

Hunslet’s already thin-hopes of success in Sunday’s encounter have been dealt a blow with ex-Wigan halfbacks James and Thomas Coyle ruled out through injury.