Clubb set for long-awaited return

Tony Clubb (centre) could return to action this week
Tony Clubb (centre) could return to action this week
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TONY Clubb is set to make his long-awaited comeback this week.

The front-rower was only expected to be sidelined for two or three weeks when he suffered a knee injury in a 60-0 thrashing of Hull KR back in May.

It’s taken longer than we expected to get him back but he’s looking good now, and can’t wait to get back out there and play again

Shaun Wane

But the recovery phase dragged on for more than two months – much longer than expected – forcing him to sit out the last eight games.

Clubb is now back firing and is set to come straight back into the Warriors

side for Thursday’s visit of Super League pacesetters Leeds.

And in a further boost, captain Sean O’Loughlin is also expected to return.

He missed last Thursday’s 17-6 loss at Warrington after injuring his thigh during training.

But stand-off George Williams is a doubt for this week’s Sky televised showdown.

He was due to have a neck injury scanned yesterday and coach

Shaun Wane may know whether he is in contention today. If Williams misses out, Wane may start Sam Powell in the playmaker role and go without a replacement hooker on the bench – just as he did the last time Wigan faced Leeds, winning 27-12 at the Newcastle Magic Weekend.

Clubb’s return will intensify competition for places among the forwards.

He was in career-best form until his injury and has arguably been Wigan’s best prop this season.

Wane said: “He’s a big body and a tough competitor.

“It’s taken longer than we expected to get him back but he’s looking good now, and can’t wait to get back out there and play again. He was in great form until his injury and hopefully he can get back to playing like that.”

Elsewhere, Wigan’s Under-19s beat their St Helens counterparts 38-22 on Saturday to move to the top of the table.

Centre Oliver Gildart scored a hat-trick and there were also tries for Gabriel Fell, Jack Higginson, Kyle Shelford and Jake Shorrocks, who also kicked five goals.