Wane to make call on letting more go on loan
Shaun Wane will meet with his staff today to decide whether to let any fringe players leave on loan.
He last week allowed Lewis Tierney and Romain Navarrete to join Catalans for the rest of the season. Clubs have until Friday to make signings for this current campaign.
The regular season finishes this weekend to move into the Super-8s phase of the competition. While it is a crucial period for the first-teams, it can be a frustrating time of year for those players not in the side.
Those who are too old for the Under-19s often play on dual-registration – prop Joe Bretherton (Workington), centre Liam Forsyth and forward Callum Field (Swinton) all had games on Sunday.
But the option of allowing them to play for lower league clubs dries up after this weekend.
Only those who have played eight or more matches already for a partnering club can continue to play on a week-to-week basis – and Wigan don’t have any. It means Wane must decide whether to let any fringe players join clubs for the rest of the season – or keep them at Wigan.
It is a difficult decision, and Wane needs to balance the needs of the fringe players – to get matches under their belt – without leaving himself short if injuries, suspensions or dips in form occur with his starting team.
He says he will “probably not” allow any to leave for the rest of the year. “But we’re going through them again tomorrow,” he said yesterday.
“We need to look at a few players who we need to get up to speed. We need to get everything nailed.
“If they don’t play for a few weeks, it’s the way it is.”
Fringe players who stay at the club can play for the reserves – Wigan are one of the few clubs to plays second-string matches.
But there are currently only two fixtures arranged – one in August, another in September – and Wane admits the current situation is far from ideal. He raised the possibility of arranging some more reserve games over the autumn.
“I don’t like it, they need to play, but it’s the circumstances we’re in,” said Wane, who feels sorry for the current crop.
“I went my career, from 16 to 30-something, and never went through a spell like this.
“I can’t imagine training all week and not playing (at any level) at the weekend.”
Tierney and Navarrete both played for the Dragons in Sunday’s 46-28 loss at St Helens.
“It was the right thing to do, they weren’t going to play unless we had an injury crisis, and Romain was missing home so there were personal reasons for him,” added Wane.
He hinted he may make “one or two” changes to his squad for the visit of Leeds this Friday.
Forwards Liam Farrell and Joel Tomkins are not expected to be fit, with the following week’s Challenge Cup semi-final against Salford a likely target for them both, with winger Dom Manfredi not far behind.