Lenagan explains ‘shambles’ comment

Wigan chairman Ian Lenagan has explained why he has branded the RFL’s new reserve-league offering as “a shambles”.

Yesterday Lenagan spoke at length to the media about the issue and the problem finding games for its players not involved regularly in first-team or Under-19s fixtures. The Wigan boss said finding the right solution is not easy and that the RFL was not “useless”.

“I’m not saying it’s easy,” Lenagan said.

“This is not politics, this is getting to a point where this just does not work.”

Wigan wanted a reserves division comprised of willing Super League clubs nearby, in a competitive round-robin league where they would play each opponent three times.

Instead the RFL has created a reserves competition with just nine games and the Warriors fear mismatches against Championship opposition.

Wigan has already sent Ryan Hampshire and Connor Farrell out on loan this season, to Castleford and Widnes respective, but Lenagan said his club won’t be loaning more players out.

“We’ll find a way around it,” he said.

“My concern is Wigan’s player development.

“This is not a problem of funding [for the game], it’s a problem of strategic thinking.

“We needed competitive games for our talented young players and fringe first-team players.

“We believe that the RFL had two or three attempts to do that and I have to praise John Roberts, he did very well trying to put together a schedule, but it proved impossible to suit everyone’s needs.”

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