WIGAN have been struck a double blow ahead of Saturday’s showdown with champions Leeds.
Centre George Carmont has been ruled out for a month after breaking his thumb in Sunday’s opener.
And Shaun Wane will also be without the services of Liam Farrell after he was hit with a one-game ban by the RFL.
Farrell chose to make an early-guilty plea after being charged with a dangerous tackle on Huddersfield centre Leroy Cudjoe during his side’s opening 20-16 defeat.
Farrell, who was also given a caution for use of the forearm on hooker Luke Robinson in the same match, became the first player to accept an early-guilty plea, thereby removing the need for a disciplinary hearing last night.
The 21-year-old scored a try and was one of Wigan’s better performers last Sunday, and his absence will be a setback.
But the loss of Carmont is of greater concern, with the veteran centre likely to be sidelined for four weeks with his injury.
Coach Shaun Wane said: “A broken thumb injury can be up to six weeks but we’re hopeful George will only be out for four.”
Kiwi Anthony Gelling would appear the most obvious candidate to fill the centre role, having scored a try for the Under-20s against South Wales last weekend. But Wane may be tempted to give Jack Hughes a chance after he impressed during pre-season. Although a second-rower, Hughes had a spell in the three-quarters in friendlies against Huddersfield and Leigh and is keen to play at centre if it helps him add to the two first-team appearances he earned last season.
Farrell’s loss, meanwhile, will open up a spot on the substitutes’ bench, and though it is unclear Wane if replaces him with another forward or a half-back/hooker, it seems certain that he will hand a Warriors debut to one of the club’s promising youngsters.
With Stuart Fielden, Paul Prescott and Amos Roberts all still out, he has the likes of props Gil Dudson and Tom Spencer, hooker Logan Tomkins and half-back Sam Powell pressing for a call-up.
Spencer and Powell were the players in last week’s 19-man squad, before being cut from the match-day panel.
Leeds have injury doubts over Jamie Jones-Buchanan, Kylie Leuluai and Kevin Sinfield.
TICKETS for Wigan’s game at Castleford on February 26 went on sale to season ticket holders this morning.
Wigan have received an allocation of 1,110 terracing tickets, priced £18 adults and £10 concessions – £2 cheaper than match-day admission. They go on general sale next Monday.
PAT Richards will be the studio guest on the BBC1’s Super League Show when it returns next Monday (11.35pm).