Ian Lenagan talks Wigan Warriors' next coach - and recruitment

Ian Lenagan insists he has yet to select Wigan's next coach - and has also addressed recruitment for next season.

Friday, 3rd September 2021, 2:30 pm
Updated Friday, 3rd September 2021, 2:34 pm
Wigan chairman Ian Lenagan appeared at a fans' forum on Tuesday night

Current assistant Matty Peet is understood to be the front-runner to replace Adrian Lam, who will leave at the end of this campaign.

Lenagan - speaking at a fans' forum this week - said: "We haven't selected (the next coach) yet. It's not definite. There are all sorts of rumours around about that. But we have a choice of four different directions that we as Wigan could go in; we could go back to Shaun Wane obviously, we could select a person who's on the staff currently, as an assistant coach, we could go to Australia, and look as we did with Michael Maguire.

"And the final option of the four that we've got is to appoint a UK head coach. So, we're going through the process of those four choices."

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England boss Wane is expected to Wigan in a part-time position, which would offer some experience if Peet gets the role.

Wigan, meanwhile, have already recruited two NRL props as well as London winger Abbas Miski and Leigh centre Iain Thornley for 2022.

And Lenagan says there is room under the salary cap ceiling to sign another player.

He added: "Maybe if we can get one final player we will be in a good place."

He confirmed he and Kris Radlinski do the recruiting, with input from coaching staff, but don't get involved in selecting a team - even if that sometimes leaves him puzzled and frustrated.

In a transcript from the fans' forum, published on Wigan's website, Lenagan said: "If you take, Mitch Clark, I sometimes ask the question, why is Mitch Clark not playing? I don't mean asked the head coach of it, we ask ourselves, why for example was Amir Bourouh playing when he's leaving at the end of the season, when Brad O’Neill as a Terry Newton-type in many respects, should be obviously playing on there. It's a difficult issue.

"There was nothing more irritated than me for paying a large amount of money for a scrum-half a couple of years ago who never got picked – Jarrod Sammut. From my view he was a very good player. Why wasn’t he picked? I don't know. But you've got to stay with the principle that a chairman or a board of directors or a chief exec can't pick the team. The head coach has to pick the team. And he lives or dies by that. Frustrating, though. Very frustrating."