Wane: We’ll make do and mend

Wigan Warriors star Paul Prescott during the live broadcast of the BBC Radio Manchester Rugby League Extra Fans Forum at the DW Stadium
Wigan Warriors star Paul Prescott during the live broadcast of the BBC Radio Manchester Rugby League Extra Fans Forum at the DW Stadium

SHAUN Wane has “no immediate plans” to recall any on-loan players to plug the gap caused by Thomas Leuluai’s untimely lay-off.

The Wigan scrum-half has been sidelined for two months after breaking his leg in the Exiles’ 18-10 defeat to England at the weekend.

If that timescale is accurate, his first game back would be the Challenge Cup final – should Warriors get there – on August 25, with only two regular-season games to follow before the play-offs.

In the meantime, Wigan will have to get by without the Kiwi, who will return home at the end of the season to join the NZ Warriors.

It’s prompted speculation that Wane could look to recall one of his young stars currently out on loan – either Joe Mellor at Widnes or Matty Russell at Hull FC.

But the Wigan coach insists he’s happy to make do and mend for the time being.

“It’s something we might look at down the line,” Wane admitted.

“But I’ve no immediate plans to bring them back.

“I think at the moment they’re better placed staying where they are.”

With full-back Russell staying on Humberside, Wane has clearly decided against switching Sam Tomkins back to the halves .

That means Sean O’Loughlin remains most likely candidate to partner Brett Finch at No.7.

And switching the skipper from loose forward will allow Liam Farrell and Chris Tuson more game-time in the back row.

Wane at least has the luxury of an extra couple of days to assess his options, with Wigan not in action until Widnes visit the DW on Monday night.

Warriors will at least be spared the ignominy of facing Mellor, with the youngster missing the game through suspension following a dangerous throw tackle on Scott Grix of Huddersfield last week.

Leuluai’s misfortune is the latest in a long line of key injuries sustained by Warriors this term.

But Wane could be due some good news on that front with Ben Flower and Paul Prescott poised to make long-awaited returns to action.

Both are close to full fitness following lengthy lay-offs and are in the frame for Monday’s game.

“I can’t wait to get them back – before their injuries their performances were fantastic,” added Wane.