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afootingmiracle21-12 Eddie Hemmings's Wig
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Just reflecting on saints win last night and the differences in their squad vs ours.

We will have just 4 survivors from our 2018 Grand Final win at the start of next season (1 of those left and came back - bateman) plus Farrell, Powell and Leuleui. Saints on the other hand still have 9 players from the team that narrowly lost the semi to wire in the same year.

Compare our 2013 grand final win with the team that won in 2018 - and again only 4 survivors....a huge reason why we underachieved for the team we had built 2010 onwards, which should really have been a group which won 6/7 out of 10 grand finals like Leeds did..instead we only returned 4

We are generally turning over a full team every 4 years or so....meaning every two years is half a different team.
If we want to compete again we need to rebuild this squad and reduce the rate which we hemorrhage players

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Brilliant post, completely agree.
Wigan have done brilliantly the last decade and with Leeds are one of the 2 most successful teams in that period.
That said I am sure we can all agree that with a young squad the feeling walking away from the 2010 grand final was that we were going to dominate.
However we have done well but underachieved.

I think rads intention from what he said at the seminar was to build a successful era around our young forward which to me sounds sensible .
wearethewire wrote:
expect nothing, anything more is better

Wires71 wrote:
And there is the Warrington motto in a nutshell. No wonder we were dog dirt for 20 years

madoggy wrote:
hope saints win it, if wigan dont win another league title for 100 years they would still have more than everyone :wink:

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We’ve gone all in on developing our own young players now, so we’ve got to keep them and make sure we feel the benefit of their prime years and not an NRL side, Catalans or Warrington. The club can’t say we are close to the cap because we pay the youngsters a good wage and then lose them before they reach their best.

As an example if we look at a kid like Havard, he’s been up and down in his time in the first team but there is clearly a lot of talent there. We have given him a couple of years worth of experience and stuck with him through the ups and downs. Say he decides to play out next season and go to the NRL, what was the point?! We may as well have gone out and got an experienced prop, who Havard himself may end up being twice as good as but isn’t currently and if Havard is going to be twice the player but is playing In the NRL, we’ve gained very little.

I back the clubs commitment to the youngsters but they have to work out a way of keeping more players long term.

User avatarSmalls wrote:
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All about the contracts then. Additional years in the clubs favour.
wearethewire wrote:
expect nothing, anything more is better

Wires71 wrote:
And there is the Warrington motto in a nutshell. No wonder we were dog dirt for 20 years

madoggy wrote:
hope saints win it, if wigan dont win another league title for 100 years they would still have more than everyone :wink:

User avatarNickyKiss wrote:
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Not sure on the answer tbh. I appreciate we’ll always lose some but we shouldn’t be losing as many as we are IMO. Look at that Saints side last night, they can keep the majority of their club produced players, so it’s not an impossible task.

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NickyKiss wrote:
Look at that Saints side last night, they can keep the majority of their club produced players, so it’s not an impossible task.


Why is this? They've got away with losing significant numbers of homegrown youngsters season after season despite being successful. We've been less successful but still seeing this happen (with Gildart leaving).

So why is this happening to us and not them? Is it that NRL clubs can't see past our young players? I don't think it's this?

Is it the club being too soft to the point where we almost encourage our young players to leave us for shores new? Well it's been going on for years starting with Sam, then Sarginson....

Is it the fact that the first to leave of this new group was Mossop who has made a success out of it over there? Close mates with Gildart, Bateman, Williams I believe. They see the life he's having over in Sydney and they wanted the same? This seems the most likely scenario I think.

Will the exodus stop for a few seasons now, I'm thinking so cause we've been diluted that much there's not much left worthy of a chance over there these days.
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MattyB wrote:
Why is this? They've got away with losing significant numbers of homegrown youngsters season after season despite being successful. We've been less successful but still seeing this happen (with Gildart leaving).

So why is this happening to us and not them? Is it that NRL clubs can't see past our young players? I don't think it's this?

Is it the club being too soft to the point where we almost encourage our young players to leave us for shores new? Well it's been going on for years starting with Sam, then Sarginson....

Is it the fact that the first to leave of this new group was Mossop who has made a success out of it over there? Close mates with Gildart, Bateman, Williams I believe. They see the life he's having over in Sydney and they wanted the same? This seems the most likely scenario I think.

Will the exodus stop for a few seasons now, I'm thinking so cause we've been diluted that much there's not much left worthy of a chance over there these days.


it would be interesting to see why other clubs players arent going to the NRL. If you look at the last few years Wigan have lost several to NRL (and RU), Leeds for their period of success lost 1 or 2 that i can recall, but in the main kept the nucleus of the side together, Saints have lost 2 that i can think off (1 NRL and 1 RU) and Wire have had a couple i can think of.

On the other hand we seem to have a conveyor belt of players wanting to go over to Oz / RU to play, and we have even lost 1 player before he has made a 1st team appearance to the NRL

whilst you cant knock the players for wanting to test themselves in the best league in the world, and i would assume getting a better salary than playing at Wigan, you then start to question why it feels like we are the only club losing players on a regular basis. Are we really producing better players than all the other clubs? i would say that we have a fantastic setup as demonstrated with the academy success over the years, but the real success should be how many make regular 1st team players, as opposed to winning academy GF. Does this start with the club as players know they can sign a good long term contract with Wigan, but they know if the NRL comes knocking they will be allowed to leave (with the safety blanket of a return gig at Wigan)? is it purely down to management of contracts etc
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There are a few factors to it IMO and they do include the fact that Wigan is seen as a rugby league production factory across both codes and that comes from the success of the 80’s and 90’s and then the success of guys like Robinson, Edwards and Farrell in their varying Union roles and then from Down under I think they look at the Wigan academy and see the fact there is no money in the game here and it’s easy pickings.

In saying that though we have to stop being such an easy touch. At the various fans forums over the years Lenagan has spoken about NRL teams coming for our players as some sort of badge of honour. It really isn’t anymore and the George Williams situation should be a line in the sand for the strategy of letting them go because they’ll come back down the track. How you hold them I don’t know but it clearly can be done. Nobody can tell me Makinson, Percival and Walmsley where just easier to keep than guys like Burgess, Sarginson and Sutton. If we look at somebody like Jack Welsby, I hear no talk of the NRL. Why is that? I can guarantee if he was at Wigan we’d already be hearing talk that clubs down there had eyes on him. Have we just produced that environment of us being a stepping stone? I think we have tbh and that’s then tough to turn around.

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Maybe there is a cultural difference between the clubs which makes it easier to hold on to players at Saints? Probably my (impossible to set aside) bias, but rightly or wrongly I see the most recent incarnation of Saints as a club/side that place character and likelihood of contributing to ethic/culture as right at the top of the agenda (players and coaches). Maybe that creates an environment where players want to be and stay?

Amongst other considerations, Wigan haven't always appeared like that to me recently. As I say, I might be miles off.
afootingmiracle21-12 Eddie Hemmings's Wig
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MattyB wrote:
NickyKiss wrote:
Look at that Saints side last night, they can keep the majority of their club produced players, so it’s not an impossible task.


Why is this? They've got away with losing significant numbers of homegrown youngsters season after season despite being successful. We've been less successful but still seeing this happen (with Gildart leaving).

So why is this happening to us and not them? Is it that NRL clubs can't see past our young players? I don't think it's this?

Is it the club being too soft to the point where we almost encourage our young players to leave us for shores new? Well it's been going on for years starting with Sam, then Sarginson....


Is it the fact that the first to leave of this new group was Mossop who has made a success out of it over there? Close mates with Gildart, Bateman, Williams I believe. They see the life he's having over in Sydney and they wanted the same? This seems the most likely scenario I think.

Will the exodus stop for a few seasons now, I'm thinking so cause we've been diluted that much there's not much left worthy of a chance over there these days.


IMO it’s a mix of issues as pointed out;
i) that NRL and other clubs seem to target our players more than other teams
ii) that we don't seem to have a culture like leeds and saints...where players see wigan as the top and are desperate for success here, rather than chasing it elsewhere
iii) but personally I think your point in bold is the big one…we have been much too much a soft touch on players leaving, and that drives point ii) above – as they see their colleagues going off to big deals in Aus, Catalans or Wire etc and chase it themselves.

Point iii. drives point ii. IMO which is why I’m glad we’ve played hardball with Hardaker (especially when the reasons are tenuous), and think we need to do more of that to keep players here.

BUT the big one for me the club should really look at is partnering with an NRL club and building it into contracts, rather than having players chase them and breach contracts mid-way though a contracted period at wigan.
This leads to the unsettled nature of our squad, high turnover and difficulties we have building momentum.

Say instead, we partnered with West Tigers (for argument sake).
- Every Big 5 year deal offered to our young star players could have a contractual release option for year 3, to play for Wests if the player and WT wish to take up. This would provide an extra year option (in the 4th year), to enhance the value of their 5 year deal.
- Players would have the opportunity of NRL with the security of an agreed contact at wigan to return to if it didn’t work out (ie/ George Williams), but the option of a 2nd year if it did (ie/ Sam Tomkins).
- THEN the player would return to wigan as a much better player (with terms already agreed for the 5th year…to stop the nonsense of greedy players being lured by wire/ catalans outbidding us with their elastic caps etc). If they wanted them upon their return they would need to pay the relevant fee.
- Alternatively, if the player is a huge success and wants to stay in Aus for the rest of their career (ie / Sam Burgess), the aussie club pay a fee at the end of year 4.
- This would lead to not only more players returning and not being lost to rivals, but also critically continue the connection and cultural link to the club…they are still wigan players etc.

Of course, there’s ways this could be exploited, but its better than the current situation of every aussie club plus our rivals taking the mick out of us…..you could almost make a combined wigan team of catalans and wire players who are much better than what we have left at the club….could you imagine saying that about leeds or saints!!
The important part of this option is it retains the wigan link and connections to the club, plus hopefully desire of returning…..gives players a safety net to try the NRL but return to wigan (like we’ve seen with so many it often doesn’t work out), stops every NRL club vulturing off us…if we do a partnership deal with one, its much more likely to be accepted by others that they don’t chase our players as wigan players go to wests etc, and is less likely to have their head turned by wire or catalan etc on their return. If they do, then we get a fee out of our rivals (which limits their ability to keep doing it), rather than off an NRL club which has no impact.

Such a deal could also see us take those players in exchange who have yet to make NRL grade….ie/ when Lachlan lam was 17/18, he could have done a year here to give him game time and get a break in the NRL. They could effectively ‘fill the position’ for us, until our player returned, and be part of the contract negotiation if the wigan player wanted to remain in the NRL (we agree it, but would take an option for another 1-2 years to delay the return of a top aussie player….similar to the hastings arrangement).

Got to be better than the current mess we have, and I struggle to see how this wouldn’t have a positive effect on turnover.
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