Wane not entertaining Hull mind games

Wigan Warriors coach Shaun Wane, left, poses for a picture with fans as they gather to see their team get on the coach on the road to Wembley for the Challenge Cup Final 2013.
Wigan Warriors coach Shaun Wane, left, poses for a picture with fans as they gather to see their team get on the coach on the road to Wembley for the Challenge Cup Final 2013.

SHAUN Wane suspects Hull FC have attempted to employ mind games ahead of tomorrow’s Wembley showdown.

Coach Peter Gentle yesterday named Ben Crooks in his 19-man squad after fears the boom centre – one of the real success stories of 2013 – would be ruled out through injury.

Two others who had been labelled doubtful were included – Kirk Yeaman and Danny Tickle – though a third, Tom Lineham, was ruled out.

Wane said: “I’m not listening to their injury problems.

“I think there’s a bit of rubbish there, a bit of mind games and I’m too old for that.

“I’ll see what 17 they turn out and we’ll deal with it.

“Whoever plays, I think you’ll have two teams who play a fantastic attacking style on their day.

“But we’re confident in our armoury.”

Wigan arrived at their training base last night and will train on the Wembley pitch today, when Sean O’Loughlin’s leg injury will be given a thorough examination.

Wane, though, says he is “99 per cent” sure his captain will play.

Hooker Mike McIlorum is also set to play through the pain barrier following a back problem.

Both were named in Wigan’s 19-man squad yesterday – a panel which includes 13 club-trained players.

Prop Epa Lauaki, centre Anthony Gelling and half-back Sam Powell miss out. Powell has travelled with the squad.

Wane has been pleased with their attitude during training and says they have addressed issues raised from last Saturday’s loss at Catalan.

“There are things in our game we’ve fixed, the lads are buzzing, they’re excited, they’re in a good mood,” he said.

Meanwhile, Wane is pleased his own future has been secured after the Evening Post exclusively revealed on Wednesday that he would be staying on in 2014.

He said: “I don’t know if all the fans are going to be happy or sad with that, but the majority should be. I’m happy it’s sorted and I can plan for next year.

“I’m really positive and there are so many good kids coming through, and that was the plan.”

l WIGAN legend Andy Farrell presented the squad with their shirts at the team hotel last night.

l Former Wigan stand-off Brett Finch, a Challenge Cup winner in 2011, is to retire at the end of this season. He will take up a media role with Channel 9 and is seeking a coaching position.

“I’ve had a great run and I just know the time is right,” the Melbourne star said.

Wigan’s team (likely): S Tomkins; Charnley, Goulding, Thornley, Richards; Green, Smith; Mossop, McIlorum, Flower, Hansen, Farrell, O’Loughlin. Subs (four from): Dudson, Taylor, Tuson, L Tomkins, Crosby, Hughes.

Hull FC’s 19-man squad: Briscoe, Crookes, Crooks, Ellis, Green, Heremaia, Horne, Holdsworth, Houghton, Lynch, Miller, O’Meley, Pitts, Shaul, Tickle, Watts, Westerman, Whiting, Yeaman