Wane may target '˜older' players

Shaun Wane may change his recruitment policy in wake of criticism this season.

Wednesday, 14th September 2016, 3:41 pm
Updated Thursday, 15th September 2016, 4:32 pm
Shaun Wane says there is no 'give' for developing players
Shaun Wane says there is no 'give' for developing players

The Warriors boss has favoured ‘project players’ during nearly five years in charge – to a large degree of success.

But that may change as Wane considers targeting older players.

He admitted: “If we do bring someone in, the players I’m looking at are more established, experienced players.”

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Wane has been a strong advocate of using players from the club’s academy system.

And although he has sprinkled his squads with seasoned stars – Matty Bowen the obvious example – the bulk of his outside recruits have been made from poorer-performing clubs.

Taulima Tautai proved Wigan’s unlikely match-winner in an 18-12 victory at Hull FC which kept their hopes alive of a top-two finish.

The prop was signed from Wakefield, while other current players picked from clubs at the bottom of the ladder include Ben Flower (Crusaders), Dan Sarginson, Tony Clubb (London) and John Bateman (Bradford).

Wane also brought in centre Anthony Gelling from part-time New Zealand outfit, Auckland Vulcans, and developed him into one of Super League’s best centres.

But he has admitted for the first time his mid-season move for Kiwi Test forward Frank-Paul Nuuausala may be the start of a shift towards more established names.

While he brushes off outside criticism – which was particularly fierce after an 8-6 home loss to Widnes – it underlined to him the demands of immediate success at Wigan.

He added: “The way some people reacted after that defeat, there is no give for developing players.

“There won’t be too many of those (project players) unfortunately. It’s not worth (the criticism).”

Wane is thought to be considering a move for a winger for 2017, even on a short-term basis, as Dom Manfredi will miss a large chunk of next season through injury.