Warriors keep tabs on Latics star's brother

Warriors are keeping tabs on the teenage brother of a Latics first-team player.

Tuesday, 2nd January 2018, 5:00 am
Updated Tuesday, 2nd January 2018, 9:25 am
Jamal Thomas with scholarship coach Shane Eccles

Jamal Thomas, 14, has been invited back to train with the juniors after a successful trial with the scholarship.

While it is obviously still early days, his link-up with Wigan is intriguing given his sibling represents the town’s other professional club.

Brother Terell, 22, has figured five times for Paul Cook’s League One highflyers this season. He joined Sutton United on a month’s loan last weekend.

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And what makes Jamal’s steps into rugby league even more interesting is the fact they hail from Essex - way outside of the code’s heartland.

Their dad, Timothy, got in touch with the Warriors following Terell’s transfer from Charlton in the summer.

He said: “Jamal thoroughly enjoyed it at Wigan, the people are very warm and we liked a lot of what we saw.”

He plans to bring Jamal - who plays rugby union - up to train in the Easter holidays, as well as on occasions when they travel north to watch Terrell play.

Wigan will also send him programmes to help smooth a potential transition into league.

Rugby league clubs are allow to bring in athletes from other sports without them counting on their total scholarship ‘cap’ of having no more than 20 Under-15s players.

The rule is designed to ensure clubs aren’t deterred from looking to develop talent from outside the traditional areas.

Head of youth Matty Peet hopes the first-team will eventually benefit from the talent transfer system.

Under-19s winger Nathaniel Marshall, for example, hails from London and joined after a successful trial with the club.

He missed last year’s academy Grand Final through injury but has been tipped for a big season.