After the next Brett
Wigan boss pays tribute to departing Australian star
Last Updated: June 14, 2012 8:26am
The search is on
Shaun Wane says Wigan are already taking steps to find the next Brett Finch.
"I'm just concentrating on this year and slowly but surely we'll keep chipping away and make sure that we get some good players for next year."
Shaun Wane Quotes of the week
The club announced last weekend that the 30-year-old Australian - who has been one of the star performers of the Super League season - is set to leave the DW Stadium at the end of the campaign.
News of the stand-off's departure was widely expected, but comes as a blow to Wigan as his performances have been crucial in their climb to the top of the table.
But Warriors coach Wane insists the club are already on the hunt for top-quality talent to fill the void next term.
He told Boots 'n' All: "We're looking to fix things up for next year now because we know Brett Finch is leaving and it's just onwards and upwards.
"We just deal with it. We've lost a great player and hopefully we'll get a great player in.
"Kris Radlinski, the rugby manager, is speaking to a lot of agents and we're interested in any good players.
"We're not a long way down with anybody at the minute, I'm just concentrating on this year and slowly but surely we'll keep chipping away and make sure that we get some good players for next year."
Earlier this year Wigan announced that Finch's half-back partner Thomas Leuluai was also returning home to join Brian McLennan at the New Zealand Warriors.
But Warne has warned Wigan's Super League rivals that Finch is too focused to allow the news to have an impact on his performances.
He added: "He's very professional - and so am I - and we have a really mentally tough team, who just want to win games.
"It won't bother him one little bit. He did want it to come out a little earlier because it was affecting him in training, but now it's out in the open everybody knows where we're going."
Finch is widely expected to join his old coach Michael Maguire at South Sydney as he winds down his playing career.
And Warne was eager to pay tribute to the player who joined at the start of the 2011 season and helped the club lift the Challenge Cup.
"He has been fantastic for us as a player and as a man off the field he's been a real credit," he said.
"I've enjoyed coaching him this year, but it's far from finished. We want to win things, but I would like to say on the record that he's been a fantastic player for us and he'll never be forgotten at this club.
"I fully understand exactly why he wants to go back home. He's had an offer for things after his playing career's finished, so that's very important.
"I want to make sure he's looked after and do the right thing by him because we've had nothing but quality while he's been here."
Hit play on the video at the top of the page for the views of Boots 'n' All experts Stevo and John Kear on Brett Finch's departure