Why Wigan Warriors won't be able to recruit a replacement for injured Dom Manfredi
Wigan were dealt a devastating blow today when Dom Manfredi was ruled out for the rest of the season with a knee injury.
Scans confirmed he ruptured his Anterior Cruciate Ligament in last Friday's 38-28 loss at Castleford - just his 10th game since returning from a two-year lay-off with a similar injury to his other knee.
Earlier this year, Warrington and Castleford were granted salary cap dispensation after Kevin Brown and Luke Gale respectively suffered season-ending injuries.
But that was only permitted because neither had played a game this season.
Because Manfredi has played this campaign - the loss at Cas' was his fourth match - his entire salary will count on Wigan's 2019 cap allowance.
Hull FC had a similar experience when Matty Dawson-Jones suffered a season-ending injury because he had played in the opening game.
Wigan say they are currently spending up to the maximum salary cap limit of £2m. In addition, they take advantage of the marquee player allowance - for George Williams' lucrative deal - and £100,000 of dispensation for producing so many homegrown players.
It means the Warriors would not be able to recruit a direct replacement for Manfredi unless one of the current members of the squad departs.
With Joe Burgess in scorching form on the left edge, coach Adrian Lam does have other wing options to replace Manfredi on the right.
Tom Davies did a sterling job on the right wing last year and is fit and available, French livewire Morgan Escare has also been able to break into the side recently, Liam Marshall is nearing a recovery from a knee injury and youngster Craig Mullen played two first-team games last season.