SHAUN Wane will dangle the carrot of a Super League starting spot in front of his players when Warriors make the short trip to Leigh tonight for their final pre-season hit-out.
The new Wigan coach admits he has still not made up his mind who will make the starting XIII for the big season opener against Huddersfield Giants on Sunday week.
And he hinted an impressive performance at the Leigh Sports Village could propel anybody into his Super League plans.
“If they perform well tonight, they’ll be pushing for spots against Huddersfield,” Wane pledged.
“I’ll look at it over the weekend and see how they all go personally.
“Whoever didn’t play against Salford will get their chance at Leigh – I just hope we’re better than we showed against Salford.”
That means an opportunity for the likes of Anthony Gelling, Gil Dudson and Logan Tomkins to stake their claims for inclusion against Huddersfield.
And Wane once again promised that reputation will mean nothing in his eyes when it comes to team selection – the only thing that matters is form.
“If a lad plays really well, and that position in the first-team someone’s not performing, I’ll make the change,” he said.
“I won’t change for that, whether that’s Sam Tomkins or Sean O’Loughlin. That’s what I’ll do.
“These are only words from my mouth, but the proof’s in the pudding – we’ll see what happens.
“I’m big on making sure the quicker we get players through, the more pressure there’ll be for positoons
“I want Sam Powell to feel that if he plays well and kills it in the 20s, he’ll get time with us.
“We’re losing Tommy Leuluai next year, and we need to give him game-time – he needs to play.
“It’s a big year for them all, but they all understand I’m not afraid to play, and it won’t be one game.
“Hopefully it’ll be two, three games and they’ll get a chance to stamp their authority on the game.”