Wigan Warriors explore loan options as reserves hopes grounded

Kris Radlinski hoped a competitive reserve league would run next season
Kris Radlinski hoped a competitive reserve league would run next season

Wigan will consider whether to send fringe players on loan after plans for a competitive reserves league were deferred.

The Warriors are one of only seven clubs running reserve teams next year along with Wakefield, Hull, Halifax, Bradford, Featherstone and Keighley.

There were hopes more clubs would take part – allowing the creation of a competitive league – for next season.

But it now appears that will only happen the following year.

And having received a draft reserve fixture list for 2019 – and reflected on the experiences of last season – Wigan are weighing up whether some may benefit from playing more regularly with stints elsewhere.

Executive director Kris Radlinski said: “We need to look at our squad, there are some fringe players who may benefit from spells on loan.

“We had 38 players last year and some didn’t get the repetitions they would like through the year.”

Wigan have been big advocates for reviving a competitive reserve league.

Related: ’Rugby league couldn’t organise a booze-up in a brewery’, says Warriors ace

And Radlinski said he is “hopeful” that more clubs will join in for 2020.

As it stands, the RFL allow clubs to decide for themselves how they want to develop players – Salford don’t even have an academy side.

Players too old for the Under-19s will still be able to go on dual-registration – which works like a week-to-week loan arrangement – with lower-league outfits, which in Wigan’s case is Swinton.

“The dual reg’ with Swinton works well for us, the owner is a great guy, we know the coach well, we respect for each other,” added Radlinski.