Wane’s selection headache shows no sign of easing

Shaun Wane
Shaun Wane

Shaun Wane admits “time is running out” in bringing reinforcements back as the play-off semi-finals appear on the horizon.

Warriors kept their hopes of a home tie in the race to the Grand Final alive with last Friday’s 18-12 win at Challenge Cup winners Hull FC, despite missing five England internationals.

And Wane had hoped Lee Mossop and Tony Clubb, in particular, would be bolster ranks ahead of the play-offs, but the props face further medical checks.

“Lee has a bad shoulder. We’ll have it scanned and that will tell us if it’s serious or not,” Wane said on Mossop, who hasn’t played since the 36-22 loss to Castleford a month ago.

Clubb hasn’t played due to a neck injury since the 30-16 home defeat to Hull FC in

May, and required surgery.

But with just two games before play-offs, Wane’s injury problems show few signs of easing.

And after initially having hopes of Clubb returning to the squad in time for the play-offs, Wane admits they are still waiting for his comeback to be given the green light.

“He’s set to see a specialist early next (this) week,” said the coach.

“We’re running out of games. Whatever happens, happens. We’ve managed without him for most of the year.”

Wane is already without Joel Tomkins, Dom Manfredi and Michael McIlorum for the year, and only Sean O’Loughlin is expected to return as they bid for a fourth successive Grand Final.

The captain, who has been missing since the 60-12 win over Wakefield in the opening Super 8s game is still expected to be absent for this Friday’s trip to Warrington, as Wigan look for a first win over the Wolves this term.

“He tried to run and had another pull,” said Wane, but he did reveal O’Loughlin has an outside chance of being fit to face Catalans at the DW on September 23.

In the meantime, McIlorum, who launched his testimonial year last week, is nearing the final phase of his recovery from a broken and dislocated ankle sustained against Brisbane Broncos in February, which required surgery.

“Micky needs an addition operation to remove a screw from the ankle, though that only adding two weeks on recovery period,” said Wane.

“In the big scheme of things it’s nothing.”