Shaun Wane reveals how close Manu Vatuvei came to becoming a Wigan player

Wigan will have their hands full dealing with Salford winger Manu Vatuvei on Sunday in the Challenge Cup semi-finals – and Warriors coach Shaun Wane has revealed that they were once contacted about a move for the man dubbed ‘The Beast’ themselves.

Vatuvei is likely to make his debut in the English game in Sunday’s final-four showdown with Wigan at Warrington, with a place in the final of the Challenge Cup at Wembley the prize for the victor.

And Wane has admitted he is a big admirer of the New Zealand international – adding he was a name thrown their way some time ago.

“We did get contacted many years ago by his agent,” Wane said.

“But it was a non-starter, I was happy with what we had, but I admire him.

“He’s a big handful and a big, big player who runs hard but we’ve got some big hitters in our team.

“Liam Marshall or Tom Davies will most likely be up against him but it’s going to be a test for him to manage one of those two as well.

“I want to put him under the pump too, he’s going to have to defend us.”

Wane also weighed in on talk of the cup potentially moving away from its traditional Wembley base – saying he would be hugely against the idea.

“I wouldn’t take to it leaving Wembley kindly,” he said. “It’s in our tradition and it’s like Easter, it’s what we do and we should be proud of what we do.

“Wigan fans know everything about travelling to London and going to Wembley is part of our tradition – we have to stick to it.

“They are memories which will stick with you forever and it wouldn’t be the same anywhere else.”