SHAUN Wane has bolstered his front-row – with a member of his coaching staff!
Jordan James has come out of retirement to take up a one-year playing deal for the upcoming season.
The Welsh international – a former Royal Marine Commando – previously played for Wigan in 2006. He had taken up a development role with the Warriors, but will now make his ‘second debut’ in Sunday’s friendly, at Workington.
Wane said: “He had the bottle to come into my office and ask for a chance.
“He’s killed it in training. I watched him during the World Cup, he was one of Wales’ best middles with Ben Flower, and I think he’ll add quality and experience.
“Within days of him joining Wigan as a coach, I sensed that he had more to offer. After discussing the opportunity of him playing for us with Kris Radlinski, I was convinced he could do a job for us for a season.”
James, who made six Wigan appearances in ‘06, has now delayed his move into coaching Welsh prospects.
“This is an amazing opportunity for me to finish my playing career with Wigan,” said the 33-year-old, who will wear squad No.28. “I have been training with the boys and really enjoyed it and I am delighted to have been offered a contract.”
Wane had been seeking prop reinforcements. A move for Huddersfield’s Larne Patrick collapsed after they demanded a transfer fee thought to be around £200,000.
Chairman Ian Lenagan said: “There is an element of romance attached to a player finishing his career with Wigan, in a similar way that Paul Deacon did with us before moving on to coaching. We believe that it will be a great story for Jordan”.
Meanwhile, Kiwi Anthony Gelling will lead a young squad in action at London Skolars tonight. Lewis Tierney, George Williams and new recruit Sam Hopkins will also play.
Wigan will again face Leeds in this year’s Magic event. They headline the action on Saturday May 17 (7.15pm kick-off).