Richards backs Wane

MAN of Steel Pat Richards reckons Shaun Wane would be the perfect man to take over as Wigan coach.

Assistant coach Wane is the favourite to succeed Michael Maguire when he leaves at the end of this year to take charge of NRL side Souths.

The Warriors have looked outside of the club for their last three coaching appointments, but Richards says there is no need to do that this time.

He said: “There’s probably no greater candidate.

“He’s been in the first-team set-up for the last couple of years and at Wigan forever, and he knows the systems and the culture of the place. He’d be a great candidate.

“He’s doing a great job here. He has got to be the favourite.”

Maguire told the players after last Friday’s 28-16 win at Hull KR that this would be his final season in charge of the club.

He is confident his exit at the end of the season will not prove to be a distraction – and Richards agrees.

“It’s good to get it out there,” he said.

“When he said he’d be leaving, no-one was too worried, everyone shook his hand and wished him well. But we know he’s here for the rest of this year. He’s not gone yet, so nothing’s changed from our point of view.

“He’s doing a great job and he puts the hours in and really works hard, but he’s here and everyone’s focused on this week.”

Only a few hundred tickets remain for the mouth-watering Good Friday derby against St Helens at the DW Stadium (kick-off 2.45pm).

Meanwhile, fringe player Joe Mellor has agreed a dual-registration with Championship side Widnes, joining Wigan peers Dom Crosby and Logan Tomkins at the Denis Betts-coached Vikings.

Crosby and Tomkins made their debuts in last Sunday’s 32-12 loss at Batley. The dual-registration agreements allow players to alternate between the two clubs during the season, at Wigan’s discretion.

They will train with Warriors during the week.