‘Marquee plan go-ahead prevents any sacrifices’

Shaun Wane
Shaun Wane

SHAUN Wane admits he may have had to make some “sacrifices” if clubs hadn’t approved the marquee player plan.

Warriors had already struck a deal with Sam Tomkins to return to his hometown club in 2016.

And after Super League outfits gave the green-light to a change to the salary cap rules, Wane has been given more room to manoeuvre to shape next season’s squad.

Under the new rule, only £100,000 of Tomkins’ salary will count on the £1.85m wage-bill - presuming the Warriors nominate him as their chosen ‘marquee’ player.

And Wane hinted he may use the extra flexibility to take a chance on a player from another sport, saying he has cast his net as far as Canadian rugby union and American Football.

Had clubs voted against the plan for a Marquee Player Allowance - which removes a chunk of an A-list player’s salary from the cap - then Wane admits Tomkins’ return may have forced them to make some difficult decisions.

“Probably yeah,” he said. “But I wanted to sign Sam and if there were sacrifices, we’d have had to bite the bullet.

“But this has changed that.”

The change gives all clubs the chance to retain, or recruit, one ‘marquee’ player each. A homegrown star will have £100,000 count on the cap; a recruit from elsewhere will have £175,000.

The move means, for example, that a cashed-up side Warrington could offer NRL superstar Cooper Cronk £350,000 a year, but only half of that amount would count on the cap limit of £1.85m.

“If it lifts the profile of our game and gets more great players here, I’m all for it,” said Wane.

The Wigan coach may use the extra flexibility to recruit a player, admitting he is keeping tabs on potential recruits... from the most unlikeliest of locations.

“”I’m always looking at every sport, trying to get someone special,” he said.

“NFL, Canadian rugby union, I look at a range of sports on the internet,

“We may get them into trial, we’ll take risks and have a look at people, cast the net.

“If we can get someone who will benefit our sport I will do.

“It’s important you keep your eye open.

“Anthony Gelling came from nowhere and it’s paid off.”

Wane confirmed yesterday that forward Liam Farrell may return from injury to face Huddersfield on Sunday, in the only expected change to his squad. Farrell has missed the last two games.