Wane’s Warriors focused on cup task

Lee Mossop
Lee Mossop

SHAUN Wane is confident the speculation linking two of his stars with moves to the NRL will not prove a distraction.

Warriors host Leigh in the Challenge Cup tonight but it will be the futures of Lee Mossop and Sam Tomkins which may prove the hot topic before the match.

Cumbrian prop Mossop is understood to have agreed a move to Parramatta at the end of this year, though there has been no confirmation from either club.

And simmering rumours over Sam Tomkins’ future were amped up earlier this week when it was reported New Zealand Warriors had joined the chase for him. Recruitment manager Dean Bell visited the country last week and is hoping to persuade the Man of Steel to choose the Kiwi outfit over the Gold Coast Titans, who are also interested in him.

Asked whether he was concerned the persistent speculation would prove distracting, Wane replied: “Absolutely not, and I’m not saying that to put you off the scent. It’s not.

“Things like that don’t bother them, and I wouldn’t allow it to.

“One thing they’re doing right now is playing for us, and I want the best total performances on the field, and full concentration during the week.

“There are no problems on that, at all.”

Wigan are expected to meet little resistance from Leigh tonight, particularly as the Championship outfit suffered a 60-10 mauling by Halifax just five days ago.

Wane will hand debuts to James Greenwood and George Williams but will still field a strong line-up, and is looking forward to the Warriors’ first competitive derby against Leigh in eight years.

He said: “We’ll show them the same respect we show St Helens. Paul Rowley will have them ready to play and I expect them to be really enthusiastic.

“I’m expecting them to be a lot better than they were last week.

“But I’m confident that if we concentrate and put on our plays, we can beat anyone.”