Warriors target French pair

Morgan Escare has fallen out of favour at Catalans
Morgan Escare has fallen out of favour at Catalans

Two French players have surfaced on Wigan’s radar.

Catalans duo Romain Navarrete and Morgan Escare are thought to be targets to bolster the squad for next season.

Prop Navarette, 22, played against the Warriors last Friday night.

Of the two, Escare has the higher-profile, having established himself as one of France’s brightest talents since breaking onto the scene with the Dragons. But the 24-year-old dropped out of favour this year and is free to leave.

Wane was already consider bolstering his backs division after learning winger Dom Manfredi would miss the bulk of 2017 following knee surgery.

And Sam Tomkins’ foot injury may sway his decision.

Wigan haven’t said whether Tomkins’ setback will eat into next season but, if it does, there would seem a need to bring in reinforcements.

Wane currently has two other players comfortable at full-back, but incumbent Dan Sarginson is leaving for the NRL at the end of the year and Lewis Tierney is currently covering for Manfredi on the wing.

Escare has pace to burn, and his ability to play in other positions would make him a useful acquisition, as he could play elsewhere when Tomkins returns from injury.

Wane also has the option of using Ryan Hampshire next year after he completed his season-long loan at Castleford.

Hampshire has previously spoken of his desire to play at halfback but has played full-back and wing.

He and Connor Farrell – who has been on loan at Widnes – are unlikely to be returning for the rest of this season because of salary cap restraints.

Navarrette has had an interesting journey to the professional ranks.

He forced his way into the Catalans side this year, making his Super League debut in May, after spells in the lower leagues with Pia, Limoux and Hemel. Navarrette is thought to be keen on a switch to Wigan, which would make him the club’s first French player since Jerome Guisset in 2005.

A move for him would only intensify rumours Lee Mossop’s future may lie elsewhere. Several clubs are thought to be monitoring his position even though he is currently sidelined with a shoulder injury.

Wigan will today name their 19-man squad to face Hull FC in Friday’s semi-final. Wane plans to use the same team which beat Catalans 48-24.