First-choice stars will leave it late

Sean O'Loughlin
Sean O'Loughlin
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SHAUN Wane has revealed his first-choice team won’t train together “properly” until NEXT MONTH.

The Warriors coach is carefully managing the workloads of his five England internationals.

It is unfortunate we won’t see our starting XIII in a pre-season game, which every other club gets to do

Shaun Wane

And he may need to wait until days before their opening Super League game – at home to Catalans on February 5 – before he sees them all in full training at the same time.

Wane said: “We’ve not had one proper training session with our internationals, and we’ve already started our pre-season games.

“All the internationals are in the video meetings, they’re listening and learning, but we can’t flog them, we can’t get them out on the field and get reps into them.

“The first (proper session) will probably be the week of the Catalans game.”

As previously reportedby Wigan Today, the history books suggest the more players Wigan have in the England set-up, the poorer they start the following campaign.

To try and tackle the issue, Wane has eased Sean O’Loughlin, Liam Farrell, Matty Smith, John Bateman and George Williams back into training.

Williams may be the only one who figures in Sunday’s pre-season friendly at Salford, as he missed England’s third Test against New Zealand.

With little turnover in personnel, Wane hopes they can still make a smooth start to the new Super League campaign.

“It is unfortunate we won’t see our starting XIII in a pre-season game, which every other club gets to do,” he added.

“A lot of internationals’ first game will be Catalans, which is unfortunate, but there’s not much we can do about it.

“Hopefully we’ve prepared them right and it pays off.

“We’ve not changed much in the off-season – Willie Isa is the only new player – and we’ve not changed much with the way we play, so we’ll be okay. I still expect to win that first game, just like Catalans do.”