Wane looking to the future

Leeds Rhinos' Jamie Jones-Buchanan (left) and Wigan Warriors' Sam Tomkins square up to each other during the Stobart Super League match at Headingley Carnegie, Leeds last Friday night
Leeds Rhinos' Jamie Jones-Buchanan (left) and Wigan Warriors' Sam Tomkins square up to each other during the Stobart Super League match at Headingley Carnegie, Leeds last Friday night

SHAUN Wane has propelled Wigan to another level during four months in charge – and he insists he has only scratched the surface.

The Warriors are three points clear at the top of the Super League ladder after a stunning, 11-game winning streak.

Their thumping victories over Leeds and St Helens have already made them the bookmakers’ favourites for silverware this season and earned Wane wide-spread applause.

But the coach has outlined his long-term plan for his home-town club and says there is a lot of work still to be done.

He said: “I’m not just looking at the here and now. There is a bigger picture, a long-term project and we’re not there yet.

“There’s a lot of work to be done to get the entire system – right from the juniors through to the first-team – at the same level, so that when these home-grown players do come through, they’ll be ready.”

Wane has handed debuts to eight academy players this season, the last of those Welsh prospect Rhodri Lloyd against Leeds last Friday.

Lloyd and Dom Crosby look set to drop out of the team this weekend, however, as senior forwards Lee Mossop and Chris Tuson are available again after serving one-match suspensions.

Wigan will travel to Catalan tomorrow ahead of Saturday’s game.

l SAM Tomkins has escaped punishment for kicking out at Jamie Jones-Buchanan during Wigan’s 50-8 mauling of Leeds last Friday night.

The full-back was issued with a formal caution, which remains on his record.

But he won’t face a ban or a fine for the incident. Leeds’ Ryan Bailey and Lee Smith were also cautioned by the RFL for other incidents, while Warriors’ on-loan Joe Mellor was charged with a Grade B dangerous throw during Widnes’ shock win against Huddersfield.

Meanwhile, season ticket holders are reminded that tickets for Wigan’s Challenge Cup semi-final clash with Leeds go on sale today.

Warriors announced yesterday that their season and half-season ticket sales had passed the record 11,000 sales mark.

l HOOKER Mike McIlorum has signed a new contract with Wigan. Full story in this week’s Observer.