Baptism of fire all part of Bretherton’s training

Joe Bretherton (left) makes a tackle on his debut
Joe Bretherton (left) makes a tackle on his debut

Youngster Joe Bretherton will be able to flourish as Warriors get stronger, according to Shaun Wane.

The prop forward endured a nightmare debut as far as Wigan’s result was concerned as they tumbled to a near-record defeat against Wakefield last Sunday – but the coach thinks the experience will benefit his development.

And Bretherton, who made his debut alongside Jack Wells last week, will get a second chance to prove himself as he keeps his place in Wane’s 19-man squad for tomorrow’s clash with Castleford.

“When we start winning games, putting them into that environment will bring out the best in Joe and Jack,” said Wane.

Wells drops out of a Warriors squad still suffering from players being ill and injuries, to make way for the returning duo of Ben Flower and Dom Crosby – with Dom Manfredi dropping out after missing the Wakefield game with a toe injury.

Wane is also boosted by the return of John Bateman, who picked up a head knock against Hull KR and was then badly affected by the virus in the camp.

And Wane is confident both Bretherton and Wells, along with teenager Jack Higginson, who is named in the squad, will gain confidence once they are included in a stronger team.

“I thought they both did okay,” said Wane.

“It’s a tough one that – putting them in when we’re four tries down against a team that is really putting us under pressure and enjoying ripping into us.

“It won’t get any tougher than that and it will do them good when they come back into a confident Wigan team.”

Despite completing a one game suspension, Liam Farrell won’t return ‘for a few weeks’ thanks to a rib injury – and Wigan’s squad is still missing seven first-team regulars including captain Sean O’Loughlin.

But Wane can see light on the horizon. He said: “Over the next four or five weeks we’ll have some good players being dripped in.”