Five candidates to be the new Wigan head coach

With the news that Adrian Lam will no longer be Wigan head coach after the 2021 Super League season has ended, there have already been names rumoured with the job. But, who is likeliest to take over?

Matty Peet

Highly-regarded Matty Peet is Adrian Lam’s current assistant and is well thought of within the Wigan club as a whole. But, would owner Ian Lenagan go for Peet or more of a big name? It’s thought that with Shaun Wane returning to the DW Stadium in some kind of Director of Rugby capacity, it would alleviate some of the pressure that would be on Peet if given the reins full time. However, there’s always a risk with granting an assistant coach the main job.

Brian McDermott

Really not given a chance to show his credentials with another Super League side given the demise of the Toronto Wolfpack, the former Leeds boss could be persuaded to return to management in the top-flight if Wigan come calling. Boasting a CV that other coaches look at in envy, McDermott would certainly bring more trophy-winning pedigree to the DW Stadium. It remains to be seen though if McDermott would cross the Pennines.

Danny Ward

Having been London boss since 2018, Danny Ward’s stock has risen considerably. He earned promotion in his first season, beating favourites Toronto 4-2 away from home. Though the Broncos were relegated from Super League in 2019 by points difference, Ward earned numerous plaudits for the way he got the capital club firing. It would be a huge risk for Wigan considering how London played at the start of this season under Ward, but it is one that could pay off massively.

Trent Barrett

Despite playing just two seasons in Super League, Trent Barrett’s impact on his English club Wigan was seriously impressive. The ex-St George playmaker carried the Warriors side in 2007 and 2008, scoring 26 tries and leading them to the semi-finals of the play-offs in both years. The 2007 Rugby League Writers’ Association Player of the Year bowed out with no medal to show for it, though he did stamp his mark firmly on the northern hemisphere. A less than successful stint in charge of Canterbury Bulldogs will see the club finish bottom of the NRL ladder, so again, it would be another massive risk for Lenagan.

Shaun Wane

Everyone already knows that Shaun Wane will return to Wigan in 2022 in some kind of role. However, what’s there to say that it won’t be in a coaching capacity? His time at the Warriors was an enviable success – he led the club to three Grand Final victories and one Challenge Cup win, with his legacy still being felt now. It would be a sensational return, but stranger things have happened.

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