SHAUN Wane is unlikely to make any move to bring in a replacement for Amos Roberts following his retirement this week.
The 31-year-old’s immediate departure has freed up a chunk of cash under the salary cap wage ceiling of £1.6m.
And when Wane planned his squad at the start of this season, he did so expecting Roberts to be pressing his claims for a wing spot this season.
Competition for places in the three-quarters is not as intense as in the pack. But it’s understood Wane is in no rush to bring in reinforcements after being impressed by the way his academy products have taken their chances this season.
Jack Hughes has shown he is capable of playing at centre as well as second-row, outside backs Matt King and Ryan King have shown some promising touches while Kiwi recruit Anthony Gelling impressed in the Easter Monday victory over Wakefield. Roberts has not figured for Wigan’s first team since last summer but was hopeful that a third operation on his knee at the end of last season would finally end his injury riddle.
Yet after figuring for the Under-20s, he decided he was unable to carry on.
He said: “I know I’ve made the right decision.”
Roberts broke the news on his Twitter account on Monday night – reported in yesterday’s Evening Post – and spoke in-depth about his decision to the Wigan Observer. Yet the Warriors have still not confirmed his exit and officials are refusing to comment.
WIGAN’S Challenge Cup fifth round tie at Featherstone on Friday April 27 (kick-off 8pm) will be broadcast live on Sky Sports. The BBC will screen Warrington’s tie with Bradford the following day.
JOE Mellor is in the frame to play against St Helens on Friday after linking-up with Widnes on a month loan.
The stand-off – who figured for the Warriors in their 98-4 win against Crusaders last Sunday – played for the Vikings 14 times on a dual-registration last year.
Widnes coach Denis Betts said: “It’s great to have Joe back on board. He’s a fantastic kid with a brilliant attitude who needs Super League experience, that’s obviously restricted at Wigan at the moment, given the amount of quality players that are currently in front of him.”
Warriors’ rugby manager Kris Radlinski added: “This is an excellent opportunity for Joe to gain some more first team match experience.”