COACHES from top union outfit Saracens were “amazed” by Wigan’s training style after spending yesterday at their Orrell training base.
Warriors legend Andy Farrell, the Sarries’ coach, was among those to rub shoulders with their Warriors counterparts as part of a link-up between the two clubs.
And Shaun Wane last night said: “They were here for the day, watching what we do and they were amazed how aggressive our training session was.
“They’ve been asking what we do and we’re getting things off them, how they do things. It’s been good.”
When the partnership between Wigan and Sarries was revealed during the off-season by chairman Ian Lenagan, it included plans for match between the two outfits under hybrid rules.
And while there hasn’t been any public announcement about any developments, Wane said he would be keen to be involved. “It’s in Ian’s hands,” said Wane. “If it increases the profile of rugby league – which, in my mind, is far and away the best sport in the world – I’ll go for it.
“I don’t buy into this argument about playing too many games. If (a hybrid game) increases the profile of our sport, I’ll do it.”
Of more pressing concern is this Friday’s Challenge Cup fifth round tie at Championship side Featherstone.
Wane will name his 19-man squad today with Lee Mossop and Anthony Gelling both expected to come into the frame. Cumbrian prop Mossop played for the Under-20s last weekend after recovering from an ankle injury. He is expected to replace Gil Dudson from the team which destroyed Hull FC 56-12.
And Gelling is set to come in for Pat Richards, who injured knee cartilage in Sunday’s match.
Wane could also call on youngsters Matt Russell or Ryan King, who have both debuted this year.
But Gelling is favourite to get the first shot at the left wing role while Richards is sidelined.
The Australian goal-kicker will undergo a minor operation next week, when he will receive a clearer time frame of his recovery, but Wane said the early indications point to a lay-off of between four to six weeks.
Meanwhile, injured prop Ben Flower is set to return to action for Wigan’s Under-20s this weekend.
l Tickets for Friday’s tie at Featherstone are on general sale from the DW ticket office. Fans are advised to pre-purchase. Standing tickets are £16 adults, £10 concessions and £5 children, and £2 dearer across the board for seating tickets.