Wigan Warriors coach Shaun Wane has insisted the club were not among those courting former winger Josh Charnley about a return to rugby league.
Charnley signed with Wigan’s rivals Warrington on Monday – but the 26-year-old also revealed that several other clubs had expressed an interest in bringing him back to the sport from rugby union side Sale Sharks.
With their history in signing back former players from either rugby union or the NRL, that prompted many people to immediately assume Wigan were one of the clubs trying to land Charnley’s signature: but Wane denied that was the case on Tuesday.
When asked if Wigan had tried to sign him, Wane said: “No. I rate him very highly but we’re well covered there, and we’ve Dom (Manfredi) coming back.
“It’s great to have Josh back, I’m happy for him. He’s a great lad and a good friend of the club. It didn’t work out in rugby union but he’s a quality player and Warrington have got themselves a great competitor.”
Wane also added that he is delighted to see Charnley back in league – but joked Wigan will not make it easy for him on their first meeting with their former winger – when they clash with Warrington at May’s Magic Weekend.
“We’ll be going to try and get him – he’s going to have a tough day!” joked Wane. “But I’ve loads of respect for Josh, he’s a really good player and I’m really glad he’s going to be enjoying his rugby again.”
Meanwhile, Wane admits he would prefer last Sunday’s postponed game with Castleford to be played during the international window: even if it means he will be without a number of his England internationals for the match.
“I’d rather play it at the weekend, even missing a couple of players – they’d be in the same boat,” he said. TotalRL understands the two clubs are close to announcing when the fixture will be played.