AFTER a week in his company under the Florida sun, Shaun Wane is convinced Paul Deacon has a bright coaching future.
The former half-back has taken his first tentative steps as a coach after hanging his boots up at the end of last season.
Fresh-faced Deacon will have some first-team duties as one of Wane’s assistants.
And the new head-coach says the former goal-kicking ace has taken to his new role has taken to his role well.
Wane said: “Deacs has really impressed me. He’s been spot on with everything he has done. He’s vastly-experienced – he’s captained Bradford, played for Great Britain and won a lot of silverware.
“He obviously knows his stuff technically, but that’s just a small part of coaching.
“There are a lot of people who know their stuff but they can’t articulate it.
“The big thing is being able to communicate well and get your points across, and Deacs does that. His delivery is great, and the lads are learning from him.” Deacon originally joined Wigan ahead of the 2010 campaign on the understanding that he would move into coaching once he hung up his boots.
He deferred his retirement plans one year, fulfilling a lifetime ambition by helping Wigan to Wembley glory last season.
But Michael Maguire’s exit – and Wane’s elevation to head coach – created an opening, and he will work as second assistant to his former Bulls half-back partner Iestyn Harris, the Wales Test coach.
“The trip away was good for Iestyn, to get to know the lads and see what we’re about,” added Wane. “He’s done a great job so far, he’s a quality coach and we’re all working well together.”
The Warriors squad were heading back to shivery England today following their warm-weather training camp in America, with Wane hailing the venture a success on many fronts.
As well as allowing the squad to sharpen up their ball skills and work on their fitness, the trip helped new-boys Epalahame Lauaki, Ben Flower and Anthony Gelling settle into the squad.