SHAUN Wane believes the rules preventing overseas stars from playing at a lower-level contributed to Anthony Gelling’s long-term injury.
The Kiwi suffered a broken collarbone early in the 46-6 victory against Salford last Friday.
It was his first match in several weeks after a knee problem.
And Wane reckons it was “crazy” that he wasn’t allowed to be eased back into action.
He said: “It’s sad that he can’t play for a few weeks, his first game back is in Super League, and he does that.
“Now whether that has something to do with (his injury) – I’m pretty certain it has got something to do with it. It’s not done any good.
“You can practice and practice, and we have physical training, but still it doesn’t replicate a game.
“You talk about duty of care, and that’s not right.”
A change of rules in the off-season stopped clubs fielding up to three open age players in the second-string, now the Under-19s.
And while other older players can go on loan or dual-registration to lower league clubs, overseas players are prevented from doing so under the terms of their visas.
“I hope it gets fixed quickly,” said Wane. “I’m not sure if it will be changed soon.” With Gelling,22, likely to be out for around 14 weeks, Wane admits it will be “touch and go” whether he plays again this season because he will come back into the selection frame at the business end of the season.
He is out of contract at the end of this season and Wane added: “If the rules are changed by the RFL, I’ll keep him, because I like him.
“But if the rules aren’t changed, then we’ll have to make a decision.”
Wigan travel to Hull KR on Sunday in a Challenge Cup tie.
Wane will name his 19-man squad today with Matty Smith the major doubt.
“He’s touch and go,” said Wane. “But I’d have every faith in Sam Powell or Sean O’Loughlin in the halves.”
Wane was “disappointed” no action was taken against Salford for a shoulder charge which caused Smith’s injury.
Meanwhile, Chris Tuson is closing in on a return.
l WIGAN coach Shaun Wane confirmed he has yet to open talks about extending his contract as head coach.
Asked if negotiations had been made, he replied simply: “No.”
New Zealand Warriors have him on their radar.
Wane admitted he would be keen to test himself in the NRL at some stage but said he was happy at Wigan.