Escare opens talks about extending Wigan stay

Morgan Escare hopes to know 'soon' whether his long-term future lies at Wigan.

Thursday, 23rd March 2017, 5:38 am
Updated Friday, 24th March 2017, 10:41 am
Morgan Escare scored his first try for Wigan in the 16-16 draw with Huddersfield

The French full-back has already spoken to coach Shaun Wane about extending his contract, which expires at the end of this season.

Escare – who arrived in the off-season from Catalans – is keen to stay at the club after making a sterling start to his Warriors career.

“I want to stay here at Wigan,” the 25-year-old said. “I like the club, I like the team and I like Shaun.

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“I’ve started to speak to Shaun for next year and the following year, and maybe soon we will know if I’m staying. Hopefully I will be staying.”

Wigan are also thought to be in talks with George Williams about an improved, longer-term deal.

The England stand-off’s contract expires at the end of next season.

Escare has figured in all six games so far, and earned wide acclaim for his accomplished performances at full-back.

Inevitably, his form has triggered debates about how Wane will accommodate both players once Sam Tomkins is fit-again next month.

“I just want to play,” said Escare. “I enjoy full-back, but if I change position to wing or somewhere else, I’ll be happy if I’m in the team.”

Escare has also eased off-season concerns over the goal-kicking role.

He only hit one goal during his four years at Catalans, but has already chalked up 18 in his six games so far.

Tomkins, Sam Powell and Jake Shorrocks can also kick goals.

“When I spoke to Shaun at the start of the year, and he said I can kick the goals, I was happy because it’s showing more confidence in me,” he said.

“I kicked goals as a junior, and after training at Catalans I practiced.

“Of course, every time we score tries in the corner it’s more difficult! But it’s okay, I’m happy with the role.”

He has also bulked up in the off-season, adding eight-pounds to his frame, which has made him feel more comfortable.

“Shaun and Bitters (Mark Bitcon, director of performance) have said nothing about the weight, I just did it for myself to put on weight and feel better on the field,” he said.

“I feel better now, in defence and attack.

“I’ve been happy with the start to the season, and hopefully it continues.”

Wigan are aiming to stretch their unbeaten start to seven games when Hull FC arrive at the DW Stadium tomorrow night for a non-televised clash.

“They’re a good side - last year they won the Challenge Cup - they beat Wigan in the semi-final - and they’re a tough team,” said Escare.

His English has improved with regular lessons, though the majority of this interview was conducted with team-mate Romain Navarrete translating.

“On the pitch, it is easy because we call a name or shape, so with the rugby language it’s alright,” he said. “Off the field, it’s harder.

“But I’m getting better, I’m understanding what people are saying a lot better... but I’m still a little bit shy with speaking in English.”

And with a stream of family and friends making visits from France, and regular catch-ups with French players at other clubs, Escare has settled off the field.

I would like a bit more sun! But it’s a good life here, I spend a lot of time with my family (wife and baby),” he said.

“I see more of Eloi (Pelissier, Leigh hooker) outside of training, but once or twice a month we’ll get together with Theo (Fages, St Helens) and Antoni Maria (Leigh).”