Warriors have plenty in reserve

Fringe first-team player Liam Forsyth is too old for the Under-19s
Fringe first-team player Liam Forsyth is too old for the Under-19s

Wigan have confirmed they will continue to run a reserves team next season.

But executive director Kris Radlinski admits the situation is far from ideal as more clubs abandon running a second-tier side.

“We will run it but unfortunately other clubs have dropped out,” said Radlinski.

“We massively believe in it, as part of developing players.

“And we will keep banging the drum with the governing body until they make the decision that it is compulsory.”

Warrington are thought to have followed Hull FC and reneged on the reserves, having both been big advocates of its revival.

The games were friendlies, and not a 
competitive league, and Warriors chairman and owner Ian Lenagan has previously branded the reserves system as “a shambles”.

Clubs are allowed to decide themselves whether they want to run a second-tier side – to bridge the gap between Under-19s and first-team.

Players who are too old for the U19s – and not picked in the first-team – can play on dual-registration for lower-league clubs.

Wigan will continue their link-up with Championship side Swinton in 2018, but use it alongside their reserves, who will have matches against St Helens, Wakefield, Keighley, Leigh and Halifax.

Clubs which run reserve teams are allowed an extra 10 registered players – 75 rather than 65.

Players who are aged under-21 who earn less than £20,000 don’t count on the salary cap.