Wigan Warriors coach Shaun Wane has confirmed that his club are paying close attention to rugby union, as they scour the world for talent.
The Warriors recently signed former Welsh rugby union star Andy Powell, and he might not be the last to make the transition from the 15-man code to league in the near future.
“It’s exciting for rugby league that we can get somebody like him,” Wane told Love Rugby League.
“He got offered a fortune from the likes of Toulon and South African rugby union teams and he chose to test himself in our great sport, and he speaks very highly of it.
“He played at the highest level of rugby union, as a British Lion in South Africa, and he loves rugby league now.”
The Warriors have developed close links with Welsh rugby league in recent times, which has opened up their scouting operation to the possibilities of Welsh rugby union.
But Wane insists that the scouting does not begin and end in the Principality. The club are also looking much further afield.
“But we’re looking further afield now,” he asserted.
“We’ve got a good foothold in rugby union in Wales, and now we’re looking further afield, to make sure that we don’t miss any gems.
“Since we at Wigan have got our involvement with Welsh rugby league, we have got more people on the ground down there.
“I like to think outside the box too. I look at South African rugby union, I look at Fiji rugby union, and I look at rugby union youngsters coming through the system.
“We’re trying to find the next big name.
“I don’t stick to rugby league circles. Welsh rugby union is a real possibility.
“The market there has some great talent, with some big guys, and they’re all tough.”
Wane also confirmed that Wigan have also been looking at rugby union Sevens, but there are some glaring technical flaws in the players who excel in that particular sport.
“We have watched a lot of rugby union Sevens too. But the problem with that is the defence,” he explained.
“You need to find that special Sevens player who can defend, and that’s where we’ve fallen short so far.
“But there’s some great athletes and talent in that game. We’ve watched loads of it in the past.”