Wane hasn’t picked wing target yet

Shaun Wane is looking to bolster his squad
Shaun Wane is looking to bolster his squad

Shaun Wane insists he has yet to draw up a shortlist of outside backs to target for 2017.

Rugby manager Kris Radlinski has spent the last few days Down Under.

And that sparked speculation he went to sign an NRL player.

But Wane says he has yet to narrow down his search to bolster his backline, which will lose Dan Sarginson and Josh Charnley at the end of the season.

He said: “If I’m honest, there’s not one particular target Rads has been over there.

“He’s had meetings with everyone.

He’s been into clubs and tried to pick things up, like a fact-finding visit.

It’s not been one particular player we’re after.”

Wane has previously said he would ideally like a utility back but – with centre Oliver Gildart in the wing – it is the wing spot which looks as if it needs strengthening at the end of the year.

In-form Charnley is switching codes with Sale Sharks, while Sarginson is heading to the NRL with Gold Coast Titans.

Several outside backs have been linked with Wigan, including Brisbane’s Greg Eden and Castleford’s Denny Solomona.

Justin Carney was an early target before he pledged his future to Salford.

Warriors are also thought to be leading the race for former favourite Thomas Leuluai, who has been strongly linked with a Super League return.

All of Wigan’s halfbacks and hookers are under contract for 2017. And while Wane hasn’t commented on Leuluai specifically, he admits he is constantly looking to bolster his squad in all departments - and not just in areas which have vacancies.

“To be honest, if I had 35 players all tied up and we won three trophies, and I could bring in someone better I will do that,” he said.

“Whether that’s unfair or not, that’s my mentality.

“If we can improve the squad, or staff-base, we have to do it – we owe it to ourselves.

“We strive for perfection in every area, and it’s the same with the playing squad.”

Meanwhile, John Bateman was yesterday left out of Wigan’s squad to travel to Hull KR.

His omission was expected – Shaun Wane had previously said he was “not available” while a club investigation is taking part.

Bateman was in the 19-man squad for last Friday’s Salford game but didn’t play, just days after Wigan launched a probe into an off-field scrap outside a gym.

Although Wane has been asked about the forward’s position in all of his press conferences since the incident, the club has yet to issue a formal statement.