Wigan Warriors' academy ready to end a year of inactivity

Wigan’s academy side are set to get back up and running at Bradford next Friday – after more than a year without playing.
Darrell GouldingDarrell Goulding
Darrell Goulding

And head of youth Darrell Goulding admits the shutdown due to the pandemic has altered the way some of the players have progressed.

He said: “For many of the lads it’s given them that greater appreciation of what they love to do.

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“Since they’ve been back I’ve seen some of the players overtake others just because of their self-motivation and desire during the lockdown period.

“And at the other end, there’s the odd player who’ve had that time off and done other things and probably realised rugby might not be the path for them – and when I speak to people at other clubs, they say the same.”

The academy has reverted from Under-18s to U19s this year, as the reserves has been shelved as a cost-cutting measure due to the pandemic.

The full fixtures are on the RFL's website though some dates and venues have yet to be confirmed.

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“The first couple of weeks took then a while to get them back up to speed,” admits Goulding.

“But now they just can’t wait to get going again.”

The minimum loan period was cut from four weeks to two for players too old for the academy, and not in the first-team.