Wigan considers plan to end reserves for 2019 : leaving two Super League teams

Reigning Super League champions Wigan have admitted they may switch their decision to run with a reserve team in 2019.

The Warriors’ executive director Kris Radlinski revealed at a media briefing on Wednesday that Wigan, who were one of three Super League teams set to have a reserves next year along with Hull and Wakefield, could now decide against having the team.

He insisted that reserves has a place in player development in the sport, but suggested that with not enough top-flight teams having reserve sides, it does not provide Wigan with the necessary calibre of competition.

“If I’m honest we will probably review our situation over the coming days off the back of it,” he said.

“It is 100 per cent the right pathway, but the competition is not what we wanted and not what we bought into. “What we want is a competition which provides players with the next step down from Super League.

“Playing a Championship club’s reserve team, with all due respect, is not the next step down. So we have to look at it. When we saw the teams involved it was disappointing for us, having said we were fully committed to it.”

Radlinski did reiterate however, that previous years underline Wigan’s commitment to reserve rugby irrespective of whether they run one in 2019. TotalRL understands other Super League sides have been notified that Wigan intend to pull their plans for reserve grade next year.

He said: “The club are 100 percent committed to running a reserve team and did so for two seasons with only Warrington and Wigan also showing their commitment.

“Following this experience and lack of game time for the players, the club is awaiting the governing body to make the competition mandatory for all Super League clubs. We strongly believe that a three tier system, with under-18s and reserves, is vital to the production of the game’s next generation of elite players for our club and international competitions.”