Shaun Wane says that nothing would stand in the way of him accepting the job as Wigan coach if, as expected, he is offered the role. The former Wigan and Great Britain prop has emerged as the favourite for one of the biggest jobs in the game for when Brian Noble departs for the Celtic Crusaders.
Wane is currently reserve grade coach and is highly regarded for his work in developing young players. There has been a theory that he might be reluctant to go full time, because he also runs his own business but he was quick to scotch that notion yesterday. "Nothing would stop me taking the job," he said. "It's the job you would do anything for." Wigan also have been linked with Adrian Lam, the Kiwi Test coach Stephen Kearney, and the highly-rated assistant coach at Melbourne, Michael Maguire. But Lam looks like staying with the Sydney Roosters, while Melbourne have denied any knowledge of an approach for Maguire, who might prefer a job much closer to home at South Sydney.
Another feasible candidate, Steve Folkes, was this week appointed by Wests Tigers; all of which could leave Wigan embarrassingly short of credible candidates after making no move to retain Noble. Wane, 10 years on the coaching staff, would be a popular choice for many Wigan fans, not least for his stated belief that it is with young, local players that the club's future lies.
One of his protégés, Sam Tomkins, was yesterday named at Super League Rookie of the Year. The main award, the Albert Goldthorpe Medal, went to the former Wigan scrum-half, Michael Dobson, who is now with Hull KR.
The Leeds amateur club, Queens, have been banned from the Challenge Cup for three years after crowd trouble at this season's tie at Doncaster.