VIDEO: Wane offers to help find the '˜right' successor
Shaun Wane has offered to help Wigan find the right man to succeed him - and warned the next coach of the 'massive' pressure which comes with the role.
Taking his first press conference since his surprise announcement to step down later this year, Wane also suggested Shaun Edwards had been away from league too long to step immediately back in as a head coach.
Club chairman Ian Lenagan says he has already had calls from many candidates interested in the vacancy.
And Wane is happy to play a role in sifting through the applications.
“I offered that, because I want it to go right,” he said.
“I know the sort of person they need to get, and if they need my help I’m happy to help, no question.”
Legend Edwards is one name who has been linked with the role. The game’s most decorated player, he recently spoke of his desire to return to league after a successful coaching career in union but he is also being linked with England following Paul Gustard’s announcement that he is to join Harlequins.
“I think Shaun has said openly he couldn’t come back as a head coach, he’d start as an assistant, because it’s a different game now,” said Wane.
“Even from 2010 when I started with Michael Maguire, it’s changed a lot.
“It’s a big ask. He’s a very smart operator and been a success wherever he’s been but this would be a huge challenge.”
Lenagan has not ruled out looking to Australia for the next coach and, on Edwards, said: “You always have a view of a handful of coaches who you’d like to see coaching Wigan or coaching in rugby league and, of course, Shaun Edwards would be among those anywhere, as would a number of ex-players.
“But it’s too early in the process to comment. Wigan is obviously a marquee club and it would be one of the best jobs in rugby league I suspect. Whether you’re talking about UK-based or Australian coaches, I would imagine there’ll be a high degree of interest.”
Wane suggested the opening may come “a couple of years too early” for his assistant John Winder to step up, but he was quick to praise his staff.
“Mark Bitcon (head of performance) is the best, John is smart and a fantastic assistant - whoever comes in has got some talented, hard-working staff... who are probably glad to see the back of me,” he said.
Wane said the criticism over the last two years had not played a part in his decision - indeed, he says that he is unsure whether he will cope without the pressure.
“You need to win here,” he added. “The pressure is massive, absolutely huge. And you have to be ready for it.
“We’ve had success, we’re the most decorated club in the world, and you have to win. Having injuries, having pivots out, you have to win.
“It’s pressure, and I like it. I live for it.”