Wane keen to see Gelling impress
Cook Islander Anthony Gelling will get the chance to show he can help fill the boots of Pat Richards when Super League leaders Wigan host Salford on Friday night.
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The 22-year-old Gelling has made only 12 Super League appearances since joining the Warriors from Auckland Vulcans 18 months ago and, out of contract at the end of the season, he is running out of both time and opportunities to prove his worth.
Unable to play for either of Wigan's partnership clubs, Leigh and South Wales Scorpions, due to visa restrictions, Gelling has also been denied the chance to gain match practice with the club's Under-19s because of the rigid age restrictions.
The anomalies of the controversial dual-registration system are further highlighted by the decision of Warrington's veteran stand-off Lee Briers to make his comeback from injury by playing for Swinton against Whitehaven on Thursday night.
Coach Shaun Wane, who needs to plug the gap when Richards returns to Wests Tigers at the end of the season, believes Gelling has considerable promise but admits he needs to see more of him before he can offer him a new deal.
"He's a good player," Wane said. "He's got talent. He's a big athlete and he's got some good skills.
"He's also a good person. I am hoping to keep him on board but what gets to me is him not being able to play. That is causing problems.
"I just don't get it. I don't see how it can carry on. I need to see Hame Lauaki and Gelling play.
"They need to play regularly but it's not happening yet. There is a chance this weekend for Gelling and I might play him against London in our next league game."
Meanwhile, Swinton coach Gary Chambers was delighted to take up Briers' offer to play in Thursday's Kingstone Press Championship fixture at Leigh Sports Village, despite opposition from some rival clubs.
"I know some people are not happy with the dual registration system as it stands but I have to do what I feel is best for Swinton," said Chambers, who joined the Lions from Warrington earlier this year.
"We have a very young team here and a small squad. Having Lee in our side will offer those players guidance and we can use it as a learning tool.
"He has so much experience which he can pass on to our young lads and I feel it is something that can move us forward."