KAI PEARCE-PAUL will not be a Wigan Warriors player following the culmination of the 2023 Super League season – that much is fact.
The rangy back-rower, originally from London, has signed a two-year deal with the Newcastle Knights in the NRL along with fellow young star Will Pryce of the Huddersfield Giants.
To lose such a talent at a young age must be upsetting for Wigan, particularly after investing so much time and effort into nurturing Pearce-Paul.
However, the long-term and short-term goal now has to replace the 21-year-old – how do the Warriors go about doing that?
With Willie Isa and Liam Farrell both in the twilights of their careers at 33 and 32 respectively, Wigan must look towards the future to nail down permanent back-rowers for the next decade or so.
With Pearce-Paul, the Lancashire club perhaps thought they had that already, but the solution – as always – can be found inside or outside the club.
Will Wigan go big and recruit another back-rower or will they try and blood the likes of Junior Nsemba through to the first-team in order to promote from within?
Nsemba is not alone in the academy with Reece Stanton and Finley Beardsworth also set for bright futures in the back-row, but in terms of being ready for 2024, it is perhaps unlikely.
Therefore, it will probably seem likely that Wigan will head into the transfer market in order to replace one of the most talented youngsters to ever make the move from Super League to the NRL in Pearce-Paul.