Wigan Warriors boss Matt Peet on Super League recruitment and retention plan with the likes of Cade Cust and Kaide Ellis out of contract

WITH the May 1 deadline passed, those players out of contract at the end of the season can now negotiate with other clubs in a bid to secure their short-term and long-term futures.

For Wigan Warriors, the likes of Abbas Miski, Cade Cust and Kaide Ellis are all out of contract, and head coach Matt Peet has confirmed that his main plan will be to focus on retention rather than major recruitment going forward.

“I’m looking to retain and build on a core group of players,” Peet said.

“Consistently we look at our pathway first and make sure we don’t block opportunities for our juniors.

“And any player that comes in will have to be a good fit on and off the field, firstly off the field. We feel like we are making positive steps on what we are building here and so every player will have to add to that culturally.

“Our major focus is on retaining our players and not blocking the pathway of the next crop, people like Junior (Nsemba) and Harvie (Hill) for example that played last week.

“Of course, we lose Kai (Pearce-Paul, who has signed for Newcastle Knights for 2024 and beyond) who is a forward for us and who has some versatility an that is something we might look to address.”

Peet has acknowledged that it is a challenge in order to build the right group of players, but it is one that he is embracing.

“It’s a huge challenge and one I play a part in but me and Kris (Radlinski, Wigan chief executive) collaborate on it with Ian (Lenagan, Wigan owner) and Shaun Wane.

“We look at the succession plan at the club and we need to make sure the finances are available.

“Sometimes the expectation outside of the club is that, when you lose a high profile player, you bring in a big name but that money can be taken up by extending contracts at junior level.

“That isn’t always as eye-catching as bringing a player in overseas but it’s the pathway to long-term, sustained success.”