Tierney set to take a step forward

Lewis Tierney
Lewis Tierney

LEWIS Tierney looks set to play a bigger role at Wigan next season.

The 20-year-old has been restricted to just one first-team appearance this year, at Salford on Easter Monday.

We’re putting things in place to make sure everyone at this club can get a game

Shaun Wane

His path to the senior side has been blocked by the presence of Joe Burgess, Josh Charnley and Dom Manfredi.

But Burgess is leaving at the end of the year to join NRL side Sydney Roosters.

And with Shaun Wane indicating he is not in the market for a new winger, it means Tierney will be called on to provide competition and cover for Charnley and Manfredi.

“I like Lewis, he’s a good player,” said Wane, after being asked if he was hunting a new winger.

“He had a fantastic game on Easter Monday, so he’s an option for us.”

Wane stopped short of ruling out making a new recruit, saying he is always looking to strengthen his squad, but insists wing is not an area of concern.

Tierney, who can also play full-back, is too old for the Under-19s and so has spent the bulk of the season playing for Workington.

But under a change to the rules, from the end of this month, Super League clubs must decide whether to keep hold of their fringe players - or let them spend the rest of the season at their partnership club.

It has created a problem for Wane, who could be left in the awkward spot of letting players go with no option of recalling them.

The Warriors is confident a reserve-level structure will be in place next year – even if it’s organised by clubs themselves – though it’s looking increasingly unlikely friendlies will take place this year.

The coach has been left frustrated by the rule change, which stems from some other Super League outfits voting against a second-strong competition which has allowances for open age players.

“I don’t want a player sat here for eight weeks and not playing,” said Wane.

“They’re born to play, we pay them to play, and they can’t. We’re speaking to other club to fix our own games up for next year.

“We’re putting things in place to make sure everyone at this club can get a game.”

Centre Iain Thornley – linked with Hull KR – has recently been playing at Workington following a long spell on the sidelines.

“I’ll give him a few games,” added Wane. “He is not good enough to be knocking on the first-team door yet.”