Wane - countdown to the new season has begun

Wigan Warriors 2014 shirt launch at Warriors World in the Grand Arcade: Tony Clubb, left, Dan Sarginson, Gil Dudson and Ben Flower model the new home and away kits

Wigan Warriors 2014 shirt launch at Warriors World in the Grand Arcade: Tony Clubb, left, Dan Sarginson, Gil Dudson and Ben Flower model the new home and away kits

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SHAUN Wane last night declared Wigan’s preparations for 2014 well on track as fans rushed to snap up the new replica shirts.

Wane was at the Warriors World shop in the Grand Arcade as the new strips were unveiled to hundreds of supporters.

The release of the new squad numbers and the kits put next season under sharper focus for many fans.

And the double-winning coach says their plans for the next campaign are firmly on track.

He said: “I know the new kit and squad numbers are welcomed by many fans - it’s almost like the start of the countdown to the new season.

“For us, we are well on with our preparations for next year.

“Everything is detailed and planned, nothing has been left to chance and the players have really responded to what we’ve asked of them in training.

“I’m happy with the squad and the way they’re training.

“Gil Dudson has come back into training, he’s in good shape and everyone’s really looking forward to the new season now.”

Harrison Hansen has been handed the squad No.11, despite growing interest from Salford.

Reds owner Dr Marwan Koukash is prepared to splash the cash to land the second-rower and hopes to strike a deal this week.

Elsewhere, Epa Lauaki has been given a place in the senior panel at No.30, but his future remains in double, while Andy Powell has been linked with a return to rugby union.

The Evening Post revealed the new squad numbers

yesterday, with Anthony Gelling handed the No.5 shirt vacated by Pat Richards.

But Wane reiterated the numbers of their backs will carry no weight when it comes to selecting his side.

He said: “I gave Scott Taylor and Ben Flower the 8 and 10 because of the way they

finished last season.

“But Gil Dudson knows that if he trains well and plays well, he’s in.

“It’s the same with everyone. Gells has got the No.5 but it’s a three-way race for the wing spot, with Joe Burgess and Dom Manfredi.

“I honestly don’t know which way I’m going to go with that yet - it’ll depend on how they train over the next two months before the season starts.”

HUNDREDS of fans last night attended the launch of Wigan’s new kit at the Grand Arcade.

The distinctive home shirt retains the famous Cherry and White hoops but breaks tradition with a design featuring a diagonal mix of narrow alternating hoops. Wigan will wear the shirt primarily with white shorts and white socks with a cherry trim.

The new away shirt is Royal Purple with thin white hoops and navy trim. This will be worn with navy shorts and navy socks which include a purple trim.

The shirts are designed and produced by Australian kit manufacturers ISC and will feature new sponsor Houses For Homes across the chest. Magners Irish Cider and Ainscough Crane Hire continue as sleeve sponsors while Caliper Engineering and new sponsor Light Distribution are prominent on the upper back. The shorts feature both Maximuscle and Multipave logos.

Speaking about the kits, Warriors marketing director Simon Collinson said: “We are thrilled that both designs provide an exciting new look but retain our core elements of Cherry and White hoops.

“The home shirt is a contemporary design in line with the club’s aim to vary the traditional shirt every three years, whilst we have continued with a purple theme for the away kit.”

Adult shirts are available in sizes from Extra Small to 7XL and ladies shirts in sizes 8 to 18, priced at £47. Junior are available from 6-16 years priced at £35 while toddlers kits are £28.