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Project Players - Yay or Nay?
Post Wed May 09, 2018 1:03 pm
Posted by 100% Warrior on Wed May 09, 2018 1:03 pm
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Report from Phil Wilkinson on Twitter saying we’re interested in 25yr old Barrow prop Joe Bullock and would sign him as a “project player”.

I mustn’t be the only one to wonder why we’re signing project players rather than seasoned props when we’re in need of a boost in the propping department. We’ve already got Hamlin, who for me has been vastly under-utilised this season, as a “project” and now looking to sign Bullock under the same banner. I get that the Gelling project came off for us and he probably is sorely missed but I can’t help but feel we should be limiting “Project Players” and certainly not having more than one in any given position.

In one sense I can see the long term benefit to Wigan with these project players but I can’t shake the niggling feeling that we ought to put our eyes firmly on signing seasons pro’s for positions where we need them; one is a prop.
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Re: Project Players - Yay or Nay?
Post Wed May 09, 2018 1:22 pm
Posted by NickyKiss on Wed May 09, 2018 1:22 pm
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Do we need a boost in the prop department? I felt we did before this season but they’ve all been superb in the main (Tautai has only just come to the party) and Navarette and Hamlin are applying plenty of pressure to what you’d think are the first choice four (Clubb, Flower, Sutton and Tautai).

If Sutton goes then maybe we do but if the club have faith in Navarette and Hamlin stepping up and they feel Bullock (along with the likes of Jack Wells) can slot in to the sort of back up role (with the hope of him being more then that) Hamlin is covering this year then I’d back their judgment. The likes of Clubb and Flower started out as players we deemed ‘projects’ as well. We also have the option if guys like Joel Tomkins and Isa stepping in at prop as well.

The talk is that this lad from Barrow is a good player and he’s doing it in a stronger championship then guys like Chris Hill and Walmsley came from (not that I’m saying he’ll hit their level).
Re: Project Players - Yay or Nay?
Post Wed May 09, 2018 2:19 pm
Posted by Grimmy on Wed May 09, 2018 2:19 pm
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This makes sense to me if he isn't going to be on too high a wage. Prop is a position where you get injuries and need to be able to rotate, especially given that we are always reliant on one or two young props in the 17 every week, who will eventually burn out if they don't get a rest. He appears to be highly rated at Barrow and, as already pointed out, the Championship is a very tough division these days.
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Re: Project Players - Yay or Nay?
Post Wed May 09, 2018 2:42 pm
Posted by warrior1872 on Wed May 09, 2018 2:42 pm
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Definitely yay for me we could even come to an agreement with Barrow over lending him back for a season he is still young for a prop he will probably peak in about 2-3 years
Re: Project Players - Yay or Nay?
Post Wed May 09, 2018 2:54 pm
Posted by NSW on Wed May 09, 2018 2:54 pm
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Hopefully more Hill or Walamsley rather than Sam Hopkins.
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Re: Project Players - Yay or Nay?
Post Wed May 09, 2018 3:37 pm
Posted by 100% Warrior on Wed May 09, 2018 3:37 pm
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Hamlin, Navarrete and Bullock as “Project” props? For me that’s too many, certainly for the same position.

With the potential signing of Bullock does this mean the end for Navarrete? I certainly hope not, he’s been impressive this season - as has Hamlin.

As well as TT has been going this season I still think he’s first on the release list. Been far too inconsistent during his time here IMHO. I’d hope Hamlin/Wells could step up into his place sooner rather than later.
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Re: Project Players - Yay or Nay?
Post Wed May 09, 2018 3:51 pm
Posted by NickyKiss on Wed May 09, 2018 3:51 pm
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100% Warrior wrote:
Hamlin, Navarrete and Bullock as “Project” props? For me that’s too many, certainly for the same position.

With the potential signing of Bullock does this mean the end for Navarrete? I certainly hope not, he’s been impressive this season - as has Hamlin.

As well as TT has been going this season I still think he’s first on the release list. Been far too inconsistent during his time here IMHO. I’d hope Hamlin/Wells could step up into his place sooner rather than later.


Navarette has signed for three more years and has been starting some games so I guess Wane is starting to see him as a more established option then as a project. There’s work to do for him still but he’s clearly got a future here.

It’s all on Sutton for me. If he goes I’d like a replacement in addition to Bullock in an ideal world but by the looks of things we’re going to have more pressing matters such as a new fullback and maybe a new centre, halfback and second rower.
Re: Project Players - Yay or Nay?
Post Wed May 09, 2018 4:10 pm
Posted by DaveO on Wed May 09, 2018 4:10 pm
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Hamlin is on a two year deal so may leave after next season to return to Oz. I think if he is any good he will be off back home. Sutton is supposed to have left so I can see some sense in recruiting another prop.

At 25 this lad has the advantage of being more physically mature than any of your young players coming out of the academy. With the lack of a reserve grade unless you get some sort of freak it's hard to see how a young prop can be gradually progressed into the first team more so than a back. If this signing is true Barrow have basically been acting as Wigan reserves to produce a prop who at 25 ought to be physically ready to give it a shot in SL.

That said I don't think the club does itself any favours labelling players as "projects". He's 25 so he can't play in the academy set up so he is simply a new signing. It's as if the club is afraid of the reaction if we announce a new signing from Barrow so are excusing it by saying he is a project player.

I'd be more bothered if he was another 19 year old not 25 year old but for him at 25 the only way he is going to play is if he can break into the first team so he's not a project at all in my eyes.

Perhaps the question should not be "Project Players Yay or Nay" but "When are we going to sign a top player"? Apart from Hardaker who is only (potentially) available because of his past issues anyway I can't remember the last top player we were linked to despite senior players supposedly leaving.
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Re: Project Players - Yay or Nay?
Post Wed May 09, 2018 4:13 pm
Posted by Rogues Gallery on Wed May 09, 2018 4:13 pm
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He's not exactly new to the Wigan system, he was in the Wigan academy a few years ago, as a winger.
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Re: Project Players - Yay or Nay?
Post Wed May 09, 2018 4:21 pm
Posted by Levrier on Wed May 09, 2018 4:21 pm
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Interesting to see a lad who came through our academy and was not considered good enough being brought back in another position. I always think that the salary cap means that we cannot make full use of our academy.
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