Two more set for debuts – as casualty-list stretches to nine

Shaun Wane
Shaun Wane

Shaun Wane is set to hand out two more debuts in Thursday’s Grand Final rematch at Warrington.

Just a week after bringing academy-product Liam Marshall into the senior side, Wane is set to give Liam Forsyth and Romain Navarrete their first chances.

And forward Jack Wells is also expected to come into the mix to add to the three substitute appearances he made last year.

Wane has been forced to draft in three players after a trio of stars suffered injuries in Friday’s 20-0 win against Leigh – taking the tally of missing personnel to nine.

Joe Burgess, Lewis Tierney (both knee) and Ryan Sutton (eye) are all in the four to six week recovery bracket.

On top of that, Oliver Gildart and John Bateman are still absent with shoulder problems and Jake Shorrocks is out with a knee injury suffered in the win at Widnes.

And Sam Tomkins, Dom Manfredi and Micky McIlorum are long-term absentees.

But Wane refuses to be downbeat about the recent setbacks.

He said: “It’s a real positive for us, nobody is stressed here.

“Other clubs are going through similar things, and I see it as a chance to give Liam (Marshall) another go, Liam Forsyth a chance, Jack Wells too.

“The team will be strong, we’ll be going there to challenge them and with a game-plan to win the game.”

Forsyth, a winger or centre, returned to the club in the off-season after a spell with Bath RU, while forward Navarrete arrived from Catalans with fellow Frenchman Morgan Escare.

Navarrete is set to get a spot ahead of fringe prop Joe Bretherton, who is nursing a slight hamstring injury.

Gildart is expected to be the first injured player to return, possibly within two weeks, with Bateman and Shorrocks possibly within the month.

Tomkins (foot) and McIlorum (ankle) are targeting returns in April, with Manfredi (knee) hopeful of being fit again at the end of the season.