Wane not looking to strengthen squad

Shaun Wane
Shaun Wane

SHAUN Wane says Wigan are unlikely to recruit any more players for 2016.

The Warriors could lose as many as seven senior players at the end of the year but the re-signing of Sam Tomkins, in place of veteran Australian Matt Bowen, and the return of Hull KR loanee forward Greg Burke are likely to be the only fresh faces.

Tomkins, who is cutting short his stay with New Zealand Warriors to return to his home-town club, will be Wigan’s marquee player for next year, when Wane will give more opportunities to the club’s crop of promising youngsters.

Wane feels vindicated after giving stand-off George Williams his big break this season and he will again turn to the club’s under-19s to plug the gaps caused by the loss of winger Joe Burgess to Sydney Roosters and the departure of loan players Jack Hughes (Warrington), Scott Taylor (Hull) and Iain Thornley (Hull KR).

Wigan could also part company with hooker Logan Tomkins, the youngest of the three brothers who is currently on loan to Salford but off contract, and forward Larne Patrick, whose loan spell from Huddersfield expires at the end of the season.

“I’m not looking at one other player at the moment,” Wane said at his club’s weekly press conference at Orrell. “I’m very happy with my squad for next year. All the players get another year to mature.

“I’m more happy now than I was two years ago about the direction the club is going and the way we’re sorting the juniors out. The club as a whole is in real good shape.

“I have the support of Ian (owner Ian Lenagan) and Rads (director of football Kris Radlinksi) and that makes me feel positive that, whether I’m here or not in five years’ time, we’ll be strong.”

Meanwhile, Wane is set to recall Burgess and front row forwards Dom Crosby and Taulima Tautai for Friday’s visit to Warrington in the third round of the Super 8s and will make a late decision on hooker Michael McIlorum.

Burgess has missed the last two games with a knee injury while Crosby and Tautai were late withdrawals from the team that lost to Leeds last week after being injured in the team’s final training session and McIlorum sustained a severe cut under his eye during the game at Headingley.

“We’ll check on him at our team run but if there’s any doubt, I won’t risk him,” Wane said of the England hooker. “We’ve got a week off the week after so we can give him a good rest to recover from that.”

Wane is still waiting to discover if England centre Dan Sarginson will play again this year after struggling with a hamstring injury.

“It’s still up in the air,” he said. “He’s had his operation and he’s recovering well. He has to have another small operation in a few weeks time which will give me an idea on the time line.”