YOUNG prop Ryan Sutton will today get the chance to make his mark on Super League.
Coach Shaun Wane will hand the ex-Ince Rose Bridge junior a debut in their home match against Bradford Bulls this afternoon.
Wane has given a clutch of academy-products chances during his time in charge, and Sutton is the latest to roll off Wigan’s production line of homegrown talent.
He said: “He’s played really well for the Under-19s and he’s earned a chance.
“He’s physical, he runs the ball hard, and he’s fit in well into our system. I hope, after the Good Friday win at St Helens, the Wigan fans turn out in force and make it a great atmosphere for him.”
With today’s game coming just three days after the stunning 33-14 triumph at Langtree Park, Wane had already earmarked Sutton for a senior debut in today’s game before he lost front-rowers Ben Flower and Eddy Pettybourne to injury.
Flower has an ankle problem which may sideline him for up to a month, potentially ruling him out of Sunday’s Challenge Cup fixture against Hunslet and the Super League match with Hull FC which sandwiches two encounters with Leeds.
Meanwhile, a recovery time-frame for off-season recruit Pettybourne will only become clear later this week once swelling on his calf has gone down, but Wane predicts a two or three-week absence.
Centre Iain Thornley needs a more detailed scan on a pectoral injury.
“Injuries are part of the game, it’s unfortunate for them but it’s a chance for other players to show what they can do,” said Wane.
“It’s up to blokes like Gil Dudson and Anthony Gelling to take their chance.”
Full-back Ryan Hampshire and halfback Sam Powell will replace rested Australian duo Matt Bowen and Blake Green in today’s line-up.
Bradford, rock-bottom on -2 points, are struggling with injuries.
Adam Sidlow (back), James Donaldson (ankle) and Matty Blythe (knee) have been ruled out after suffering injuries during Thursday night’s 46-6 loss against Leeds Rhinos, joining Matt Diskin, Luke George and Jamie Foster on the sidelines.
Wane added: “I’m expecting a really good performance. Beating Saints was great and we want to keep that going and make it a great Easter.”
Kick-off today is 3pm.