Wigan Warriors will have a big pack in 2020, says optimistic Ian Lenagan

George Burgess joins Wigan for next season
George Burgess joins Wigan for next season

Ian Lenagan is confident Wigan's bigger front-row will pack a punch in 2020.

He says the club identified the middle as an area where they wanted a greater physical presence.

Alex Walmsley and Luke Thompson has led the charge for St Helens this year as they topped the Super League table and marched to today's Grand Final.

And with the addition of George Burgess and Mitch Clark, the return to fitness of Joe Bullock and the development of Ethan Havard and Liam Byrne, Wigan will have some towering front-rowers next season.

Club chairman Lenagan said: "What I do like is the fact we will have a big pack in 2020.

"I think Saints showed you need to have some size and the addition of George Burgess and Mitch Clark, as well as Joe Bullock's return and some of the younger players coming through, it will give us more size in the middle."

While Lenagan is naturally disappointed to miss out on today's showcase title decider at Old Trafford, he is hugely optimistic.

Two of their recruits for next season, Salford halfback Jackson Hastings and his team-mate Jake Bibby, will feature at the Theatre of Dreams.

“I don’t think I’ve ever got to the end of a season and been as happy with the squad for the following year as I am right now," he said.

“We’ve retained many of our players, we’ve young players coming through and we’ve recruited some exciting players to come in.

"Two of them are in the Grand Final, in Jake Bibby and Jackson Hastings, we’ve got Mitch Clark and George Burgess joining who will add size to our pack, and don’t forget Bevan French as well.

“He only came in for the last few weeks and he’ll be better with a full pre-season with us.

“They will want to win a trophy with us, the young players who have come through, you’d have to say they will be in a better position for the experience they’ve had this year.

“So I feel good overall – albeit disappointed with the way we bowed out.”

Wigan recovered from a poor start to finish second in the regular season but successive heavy defeats in the play-offs, to St Helens and Salford, ended their hopes of reaching Old Trafford.

“It’s been an up and down season,” said Lenagan.

“At the beginning we would have been quite pleased to finish second and reach a semi-final and certainly by mid-season we would have been delighted with that.

“In that respect it’s been good, but nobody likes losing in a semi-final especially not playing as poorly as we did.

“But I do think it can be a springboard to leap into next year, because we’ve got a very good squad.”