Warriors linked to move for rising South Sydney star

Gabriel Hamlin
Gabriel Hamlin

Wigan have been linked to young Souths prop Gabriel Hamlin for next season.

Coach Shaun Wane has admitted he may look to bring in reinforcements for 2018.

And Hamlin has emerged as one potential target.

The 20-year-old has not played in the NRL, but he is highly-regarded at Souths and finished last season with the club’s ‘best and fairest’ award from their National Youth League squad.

He represented his state, New South Wales, at Under-16s and U18s level.

Fans aware of the Hamlin speculation have been searching footage of him playing on YouTube – and welcomed his all-action style.

Wigan were a bit light up front last season, and Wane was short of the cut-throat competition he had in some other positions, such as wing.

They were not helped by a season-ending injury to Ben Flower, or Tony Clubb’s absence after surgery to remove a kidney.

Speaking before the Hamlin speculation surfaced, Wane admitted he may target a young player he can develop rather than an established first-teamer.

“I do like project players, they definitely get me going,” said Wane last week.

“Frank (Paul Nuuausala) was a big name but we don’t get many. We’ve had some success with the (less-experienced) players we’ve had and that may be how we go again.”

While he has brought in seasoned, experienced names before - Matty Bowen and Nuausala two obvious examples - Wane has tended to lean more towards recruits who fall in the ‘potential’ category.

Some have been established players he felt he could develop, such as Clubb and Morgan Escare, while others had much lower profiles.

Welsh prop Ben Flower and centre Dan Sarginson joined Wigan after being relegated with Crusaders and London respectively, and Anthony Gelling was playing part-time in New Zealand – and working in the construction industry – when Wane offered him his chance.