SHAUN Wane will unleash his young guns in Wigan’s first hit-out of the year next week.
New signing Willie Isa has been left out of the squad to face Leigh next Sunday, January 17.
Both clubs revealed their squads today (Friday).
Wane’s squad features seven players from last October’s Grand Final, as well as a clutch of youngsters.
Eight ‘starters’ are missing for obvious reasons.
England players Matty Smith, George Williams, Sean O’Loughlin, John Bateman and Liam Farrell have been rested. Returning full-back Sam Tomkins is sidelined with injury until Easter, prop Dom Crosby will also miss the start of the campaign (hip) and centre Dan Sarginson is recovering from surgery while cut short his 2015 season.
But there are several familiar faces including Josh Charnley, Tony Clubb, Ben Flower, Anthony Gelling, Dom Manfredi, Lee Mossop and Joel Tomkins.
Wane said: “I’m a Wiganer born and bred and there’s nothing better than seeing a youngster coming up through the ranks and getting a crack at the First Team.
“All of the players included have a great opportunity. I remember Oliver Gildart played in this game last year, he trained hard, got his chance and ended up playing in a Grand Final at the end of the season. It’s a big game and all of the players will be looking to impress.”
Leigh have included their off-season recruits Rangi Chase, Cory Paterson, Dayne Weston, Willie Tonga and Reni Maitua, while newly appointed skipper Micky Higham will lead out his hometown club against one of his former clubs.
Former Warrior Gareth Hock is also in their 22-man panel – there will be unlimited substitutions.
Leigh coach Paul Rowley said: “I am really looking forward to reacquainting myself in a local derby.”
Tickets are priced £20 for adults, £16 for over-65s and under-21s and £5 under-18s.
Wigan are expected to field a stronger squad the following week in a friendly against Salford. They start their new Super League campaign four weeks today with the visit of Catalans.
Wigan’s 20-man squad: Joe Bretherton, Josh Charnley, Tony Clubb, Macauley Davies, Ben Flower, Josh Ganson, Anthony Gelling, Oliver Gildart, Nick Gregson, Dom Manfredi, Lee Mossop, Liam Paisley, Sam Powell, Kyle Shelford, Ryan Sutton, Taulima Tautai, Lewis Tierney, Joel Tomkins, Luke Waterworth, Jack Wells.
Leigh’s 22-man squad: Gregg McNally; Adam Higson; Greg Worthington; Willie Tonga; Liam Kay; Martyn Ridyard; Fuifui Moimoi; Bob Beswick; Dayne Weston; Gareth Hock; Cory Paterson; Micky Higham; Jonny Pownall; Reni Maitua; Jamie Acton; Tom Spencer; Lewis Foster; Sam Hopkins; Andrew Dixon; Rangi Chase; Tom Armstrong; Eze Harper.