Wigan Warriors 'down the track' with Willie Isa new deal talks
Willie Isa has been holding talks with Wigan about extending his stay.
The 32-year-old forward, who joined the Warriors from Widnes for 2016, is out of contract at the end of this season.
Executive director Kris Radlinski and chairman Ian Lenagan deal with retention and recruitment, but coach Adrian Lam said Isa bas been speaking about extending his stay.
“Yeah he has,” said Lam. “I think they’re well down the track with that.
“Before his suspension he was probably our best player, he’s a great leader, and we’re a better team with him in there.”
Hooker Sam Powell and back Jake Bibby have also been reported as being out of contract - but it is understood options on their deals have been taken out.
With Joe Bullock (Warrington), Oliver Gildart (Wests) and Jackson Hastings (Wests) leaving, Bevan French extending his stay and Tony Clubb set to retire, the only other remaining questions are whether Thomas Leuluai retires or plays on – and if Lam himself with stay on as coach for 2022.
“At the end of this month I’ll think about moving forward with talks but there are still some players we’ve not finalised,” said Lam.
Wigan’s plans for 2022 are certainly taking shape, having announced on Monday night the capture of winger Abbas Miski from London as well as NRL props Patrick Mago and Kaide Ellis. They are also expected to sign Leigh and ex-Warriors centre Iain Thornley.
Lam confirmed Hastings, Isa (both suspension), Powell (head injury assessment), Bullock (sickness) and Liam Byrne (ribs) are back in the selection frame for Friday’s visit of Wakefield.
And Lam suggested Hastings will continue at full-back ahead of Umyla Hanley, certainly until Zak Hardaker’s return later this month.
“Every time Umyla has come back into the team he’s improved and we’re proud of him for that,” said Lam.
“But he’s still a teenager, my priority is to make sure we keep Harry Smith, Tommy Leuluai and Jackson Hastings on the pitch at the same time. I’m probably leaning that way (putting Hastings at full-back) at the moment.”