SHAUN Wane will welcome up to five international stars back for Sunday’s trip to Bradford – but Chris Tuson is facing more misery.
Josh Charnley, Pat Richards, Lee Mossop, Harrison Hansen and captain Sean O’Loughlin are all set to feature this weekend.
They will more than compensate for the loss of Tuson to a hamstring injury, which will sideline him for around six weeks, while Wane will take the chance to rest some of the youngsters who have helped Wigan to the top of the Super League table. The return of long-term absentees Hansen and Mossop, in particular, will be pleasing for the Wigan coach as he looks for a fifth straight Super League win.
“There is a time period when you can’t leave young kids in forever – they need a rest and with Mossop and Hansen coming back in we can do that,” said Wane.
“Hansen’s standards are very high. He is fit and has trained well so I’m happy that if I need to put him on the bench this weekend I can do that. He’s had the all clear from the specialist and his wrist is as good as it can be.
“Mossop is also fit to go. We’re nearly halfway through the year and I’ve never had the luxury of a full team yet, so it’s good to have them back.”
Tuson, though, has become the latest casualty and faces six weeks on the sidelines after a nasty hamstring injury early in the Warriors’ 44-24 win over Wakefield last Sunday.
Although Wane has cover, he admits he will miss having Tuson’s services to rely on. “I like how Tuson plays and I’ve been impressed with him,” said Wane.
“He shows a lot of quality and gets that quick play the ball because he shows so much energy.”
Wane – who will name his 19-man squad today –hinted Scott Taylor and Anthony Gelling will probably miss Sunday’s game.
“Scott has been playing okay,” said Wane. “He will be a quality player for us in future but right now there are things in his game he needs to improve on. “Gelling finished his two tries (against Wakefield) really well but he dropped two kick-offs, and that’s not acceptable to me.
“He needs to concentrate and once I see him concentrating there’s a chance he can come back in.”
FORMER Wigan skipper Dean Bell was at the Warriors’ training facility at Orrell yesterday.
Wane, a close friend, said: “He is seeing how we do things at the club. He’s going to a few clubs and meeting a few agents.”
Bell, recruitment manager for the New Zealand Warriors, made a similar visit last year.