Shaun Wane says the sparkling form of Morgan Escare has fuelled Sam Tomkins’ motivation as he edges closer to full-fitness.
Tomkins missed the Grand Final charge last year with a broken foot injury, which will keep him out for at least another month.
In his absence, Frenchman Escare – signed in the off-season from Catalans – has impressed in the full-back role, and many fans are already speculating how Wane can accommodate both players when they are fit and available.
“It’s going to be an easy choice,” said Wane. “I like Morgan, he’s doing a great job, and I know what Sam can do – he’s got credits in the bank with me. He’s a good player, so is Morgan.”
Escare can play wing, and Tomkins has experience in the halves.
Tomkins and sidelined hooker Micky McIlorum were running on the training pitch yesterday as they continue their rehabs from respective foot and ankle injuries. Sam Powell has impressed at hooker in McIlorum’s year-plus absence.
“It’s good to see them out running again,” said Wane. “It keeps them motivated (having others do well), it will make them train harder.
“Those two being super-competitive, they’ll be dying to get back in.”
Tomkins and McIlorum are both targeting returns some time next month.
“It may be a couple weeks after that, to be honest I’m not that bothered,” Wane added at his weekly press conference.
“It’s been that long, I just want them back fit, I’m not going to rush them now.
“The positive for us is we have a few players back around the same time.”
Joe Burgess, Lewis Tierney, Oliver Gildart and Jake Shorrocks are all expected back before then, with John Bateman out until around June.
Meanwhile, Wane said it will “more than likely be” this Sunday’s game against Huddersfield when he gives Tom Davies a debut.
The winger has impressed in training and for the reserves and, as revealed earlier this week, had come into the selection-frame.
He could replace fellow winger Liam Forsyth, who debuted in the 38-16 win against Warrington, or Wane may rejig his squad and switch Willie Isa from centre to the pack.