Shaun Wane to boost Warriors with juniors, not overseas stars

Shaun Wane
Shaun Wane

SHAUN Wane says Wigan are unlikely to bring any reinforcements in from overseas next season.

Warrington yesterday confirmed the capture of former Australia international Kurt Gidley for 2016.

I’d love to win a competition with 17 players who came through our system if I could

Shaun Wane

With the Warriors already securing the services of their former star Sam Tomkins, other teams are expected to make moves on the recruitment front. But Wane says it is unlikely he will sign anyone from the NRL, and stressed his priority is strengthening his current squad with more homegrown players.

Asked was he actively looking to recruit a player, he replied: “No. I watch the NRL because I enjoy it and to see if there’s anything I can pick up.

“We’re capable of signing them, but I choose to be happy with George Williams, Ryan Hampshire, players like that.

“Against Hull KR we scored a lot of tries and we had a lot of players who had come through our system – and we as a club, and the game as a whole, should embrace it.

“The club is in really good shape with the players who have come through, and I’m looking for the next one now.

“We’ve got some great juniors coming through, Nick Gregson, Gabriel Fell, and our junior coaches have done fantastically well.

“The best Wigan teams in the ‘80s and ‘90s had a strong nucleus of lads, and playing for Wigan meant the world to them.

“I’d love to win a competition with 17 players who came through our system if I could.”

Wane replaced the last two Australians to leave Wigan – Pat Richards and Blake Green – with academy-products Joe Burgess and George Williams respectively.

And his decision certainly paid off – Burgess finished last season by breaking into England’s Four Nations squad, and currently tops the Super League try-scoring chart with 13, while Williams has settled into the No.6 role and started repaying Wane’s faith.

With Anthony Gelling sidelined with injury and Matty Bowen overlooked for Hampshire in recent weeks, it leaves Australian Taulima Tautai as Wigan’s only current overseas player.

Wane will today name his provisional 19-man squad to face Castleford at the DW this Friday night.

Captain Sean O’Loughlin is set to return after a three-month lay-off. Lee Mossop is also in the frame.