SHAUN Wane has said he ‘isn’t disappointed’ about Sam Tomkins being sidelined until Easter as it gives him chance to unleash Lewis Tierney.
The 21-year-old has had to bide his time with limited opportunities at Warriors, having only made two first team appearances in the past two seasons in between dual registration stints at Workington Town.
I’m not disappointed about Sam because it gives me a chance to have a good look at Lewis and I don’t want Sam to just walk back into the teamShaun Wane
But Wane is planning end Tierney’s wait since April for a game in Wigan colours when the new season starts, and wants him to try and keep his place in the side when superstar Tomkins returns from injury to make his second debut for the club.
“Lewis Tierney has been very patient,” said Wane.
“He has shown great maturity and he has a great deal of respect for me like I have for him.
“I’m not disappointed about Sam because it gives me a chance to have a good look at Lewis and I don’t want Sam to just walk back into the team. I feel like I owe Lewis and he will get his chance.”
Tomkins is currently sidelined after having surgery on November 5 for a knee problem which has kept him out until August.
And Tierney looks to have at least the first six rounds of the season to make his mark, and potentially the World Club Series game against Brisbane, before Tomkins’ expected return which could be at St Helens on Good Friday.
Though Wane has asserted Tomkins won’t be rushed back until he is absolutely ready, he doesn’t expect academy product Tierney to give up his place easily.
“I want Lewis to give me a headache when Sam’s back because of how he’s played,” added Wane.
“I don’t want Sam to just walk back into the team.”
Tierney can also play on the wing, from where he made his last appearance in last Easter Monday’s defeat to Salford, giving Wane plenty of options in the back line. Despite Ryan Hampshire being on loan at Castleford, Wane has other options to fill the No.1 slot until Tomkins is fit.
“Dan Sarginson has killed it there and Josh Charnley can play there so I have options,” he said.
“But Lewis did a great job for me on the wing last Easter Monday which shows what he can do and now he can make up for having to wait for his chance.”