Wigan coach Matt Peet has admitted that he feels “really disappointed” by Matty Nicholson’s decision to leave the club to join rivals Warrington.
The highly-rated 18-year-old forward has joined the Wolves immediately on a deal until at least the end of the 2025 season. Nicholson scored two tries on his first team debut for Wigan earlier this season.
When asked about his feeling towards Nicholson’s move, Peet said: “Really disappointed. He’s a good player with massive potential and a good person.
“I’m left really disappointed and scratching my head somewhat at his decision. If there’s anything we feel we can do here and that we have proven we can do is give young players a chance and develop young talent but he didn’t see it playing out that way. He saw a simpler path to playing there at Warrington so we shall see.”
Matt Peet: I think it proves that our academy is superior to theirs
Peet said that Nicholson mentioned his eagerness to play more first team rugby when in contract negotiations.
Peet also said he thinks it would be ‘demoralising to work in Warrington’s academy’ after they signed another Wigan academy product.
He said: “When it came to the time to talk about his contract he did mention it (playing more first team rugby). I reminded him that he’s 18 and his goals at the start of pre-season were to make his debut which he has done.
“There was a pathway for him to play many more games for him here at this club over the next few years.
“Like I said, if there is one thing we can be trusted to do – us, St Helens and Leeds stand apart in this – is give players a chance and that was always the intention with Matthew.
“It is disappointing”
“It is his decision and I don’t want to say too much but we have done a helluva lot to try and convince him to stay. I would’ve liked to see him stay with us for a few more years yet.
“What I will say is that it is another tick for our academy for producing players.
“On the flip side, I think it would be demoralising to work in Warrington’s academy. I read about the strength of their academy and they continually pay for our players.
“Ellis Longstaff they paid for, Sam Storey they paid for, Dean Beddall they paid for and now Matty Nicholson. Although we would like to keep Matty, he would’ve developed into a first team player here, he should develop into a first team player there. I think it proves that our academy is superior to theirs.”
Peet added that the void left by Nicholson will be an opportunity for more young players to progress into the Warriors first team.
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