Wane: There’s always a chance of another debut

George Williams could be in line to face Swinton on Sunday
George Williams could be in line to face Swinton on Sunday

George Williams could make an early return to the Wigan side this weekend.

The following week’s Magic Weekend had been pencilled in as a likely return for the stand-off.

We’ll have a good team out, we’ll go there with a good 17 and be ready to play

ShauN Wane

But there is a chance Williams - who missed out last week with a knee problem - could play in Sunday’s Challenge Cup tie against Swinton.

Wane is also waiting to find out if captain Sean O’Loughlin is cleared to feature, after he returned from playing for England in Australia nursing a tight calf. He will wait until Saturday before finalising his team.

“I’ll look at Lockers and George on team-run,” said Wane.

“The medical team have worked hard with George, and he’s got a chance.

“Lockers has ome back with a tight calf, which is disappointing.

“At the moment I’ve not got close to my team.

“I’m not even close to it, but there’s always a chance of another debut.”

Ideally, both O’Loughlin and Williams will return to galvanise a patched-up side.

If both are ruled out, forward Joel Tomkins may be asked to partner utility Nick Gregson in the halfback roles as Thomas Leuluai, Jake Shorrocks, Morgan Escare and Sam Tomkins are injured.

Wane said No.9 Micky MIlorum - available again after suspension - is another option for halfback cover, given how well hooker Josh Ganson did over 80 minutes last week.

“We’ll have a good team out, we’ll go there with a good 17 and be ready to play,” he said.

Two players from last Friday’s 31-16 loss to Salford won’t feature this week. Sam Powell has been ruled out of Sunday’s match with a swollen ankle, though the injury is not serious.

And teenage halfback Josh Woods, who debuted, is Cup-tied having played for Swinton in the last round.

On the injury front, Wane revealed Anthony Gelling’s lower leg injury is not as bad as first feared and he could be back in contention within six weeks.

Sam Tomkins, John Bateman and Oliver Gildart are also set to return around then, with Kiwi half Thomas Leuluai back this month.