Wane not decided on Hampshire’s future

Ryan Hampshire has spent the season on loan at Castleford
Ryan Hampshire has spent the season on loan at Castleford

Shaun Wane will delay making a call on Ryan Hampshire’s future until the end of the season.

The 21-year-old is spending the season on loan at Castleford, and may face his parent club in Friday’s Super 8s showdown at the Jungle.

But Wane says he has yet to make any plans for him beyond this campaign.

“To be honest I’ve not even given it a thought,” he said. “He’s playing at Cas at the moment, I’m just trying to get players in my team and get players fit, that’s taken up all my mind-space.

“I watch every Cas game, I watch how he’s going, and I know John (Winder, assistant coach) speaks to him regularly so I’ve nowhere near made my mind up yet with what we’re going to do.”

Asked whether he will wait until the end of the season until making a call, Wane replied: “Probably, yes.”

Hampshire has made 30 appearances for Wigan, many of them in the full-back role. But his desire to play at halfback drove him to seek a loan move away, which was agreed at the same time he extended his Wigan deal until the end of 2018.

He has found opportunities at halfback hard to come by at Castleford, with his recent action on the wing, where he has scored fives tries in his last four games.

“He’s going well, he’s put his hand up playing on the wing and he scored a great try against Hull at the weekend,” added Wane. If Hampshire did return, there would be no obvious vacancy for him to fill, with Thomas Leuluai returning to the club to bolster the ranks next season.

Wane will wait until today to decide his team for Friday’s trip to Castleford.

His biggest dilemma was whether to bring both fit-again Anthony Gelling and Liam Farrell back into the frame.

“I’m not 100 per cent yet putting two players in after such long injuries,” said Wane.

“After being out for so long, it is a tough one. But they’re both very fit, their lack of match fitness doesn’t bother me – I just need to make sure I’m comfortable with it.”

Wane says Farrell, out for four months with a rib injury, has been the most difficult to deal with during their spells on the sideline.

“Gells is laid-back, but Liam’s not the best,” he smiled.

“My wife knows his wife very well and she’s had a tough time, I think she’s happy he’s back fit. Liam’s just grumpy, trying to jump in training when he can’t train and thinking nobody’s seen him, with his bright red hair!”