RYAN Hampshire has been assured he does have a future at Wigan.
The 20-year-old has been largely impressive in the full-back berth for the past five games.
If you look at the potential spine of the team, you have players who can fill in at six, seven, nine and one – there’s no question that Ryan Hampshire, George Williams and Sam Powell ... we have enough room for them hereShaun Wane
He had been earmarked as the long-term successor to Matty Bowen, who Hampshire is keeping out of the team.
But the signing of Sam Tomkins for 2016 has prompted many to question whether the player nicknamed ‘Rocky’ may see his pathway to the team blocked.
Wane has spoken to the academy-product and says he has no plans on losing him at the end of the season.
“We got him in, we told him the situation and he understands it,” said Wane.
“I did the same with Lewis Tierney, and he knows what he needs to do. But Rocky can play in the halves, Lewis played on the wing against Salford – and played really well.”
Hampshire played mainly at stand-off as a junior and with Wane preferring players who can alternate between positions down the spine of the side – full-back, stand-off, scrum-half and hooker – their versatility may prove an asset.
Asked whether there would be a place for Hampshire next season, chairman Ian Lenagan added: “No doubt.
“If you look at the potential spine of the team, you have players who can fill in at six, seven, nine and one – there’s no question that Ryan Hampshire, George Williams and Sam Powell... we have enough room for them here.”
Wane has praised Bowen for the way he has taken Hampshire under his wing – even though the Yorkshireman is keeping him out of the team.
“And that tells you everything you need to know about what kind of a person Matty is,” said Wane.
“I’ve not said a word to him, and yet every day he’s worked with Rocky, like a coach.
“It’s not good for him being out of the team at the moment.
“But he’s nut sulked, he’s trained hard and he understands the situation I’m in.
“I’ve absolutely so much respect for him.”