SHAUN Wane is facing up to a welcomed selection headache as he prepares for Sunday’s trip to Bradford.
Prop Paul Prescott could be fit to make his first appearance of the year following a minor off-season back operation.
And with Liam Farrell back from a one-match suspension, Wane admits he will have a dilemma on his hand.
He said: “We’re hoping to have Paul Prescott back with us, and Faz will come into the reckoning again. They’re putting pressure on the props and the back-rowers and for the bench spots, and that’s what I want. I want pressure.”
Many coaches may resist changing a winning team – especially after beating champions Leeds 20-6 in such impressive fashion last Saturday.
Farrell’s return for Tom Spencer – who debuted against Leeds in place of the suspended back-rower – would be expected.
But where Prescott may fit into the reckoning is unclear.
Wane obviously rates the 26-year-old very highly, having promoted him to the No.8 shirt when he took command. But the coach praised all four of the front-rowers who faced Leeds – Jeff Lima, Lee Mossop, Ben Flower and Epalahame Lauaki – leaving a huge question-mark over who will be squeezed out of the picture for Sunday’s trip to Odsal.
And the expected return of Stuart Fielden the following week will only ratchet up the competition further.
Fielden, who figured just once last term, has yet to be given the green light for a comeback but is expected to be pushing for the Round 4 game at Castleford on February 26.
Australian utility back Amos Roberts is also progressing well, with Wane saying he should be available again “in three weeks.”
l HOOKER Mike McIlorum has received a caution letter for a skirmish with Weller Hauraki in Saturday’s game, but faces no further action. No player was cited by the RFL’s match review panel.
l FORMER Wigan forward Ryan Hoffman made a try-scoring return to Melbourne, crossing in a 27-18 friendly defeat against Dave Furner’s Canberra.