Wane: We’ll rise to this challenge

Shaun Wane
Shaun Wane

Shaun Wane is confident his players can blow away the doom and gloom of the World Club Series – and rise to the “challenge” of facing Salford this Thursday.

Wigan’s 42-12 defeat against Brisbane last Saturday has left a dark cloud hanging over the club.

But Wane hopes it won’t impact on their Super League campaign.

He said: “No doubt about it, this is a challenge. The players were quite hurt from the defeat at the weekend, so this is a test for us, physically and mentally.

“But I’m confident I’ll get the right reaction from them.

“The crowd might not be as big but it’s an important game for us.”

Both teams head into the non-televised clash on the back of two straight wins in the league.

Wigan will be without hooker Micky McIlorum after he broke and dislocated his ankle last Saturday.

He is expected to be out for the season. Forward Willie Isa has a knee problem which will keep him out for six weeks.

Fellow England internationals Matty Smith and Liam Farrell have knocks which will be assessed today – and Sam and Joel Tomkins, and Dom Crosby, are still out.

But it is the situation at hooker which is causing Wane the biggest headache.

Sam Powell is in the squad but there are no obvious, and senior, back-up players for the bench spot.

Wigan have an option to recall halfback Ryan Hampshire from his season-long loan at Castleford, but are unlikely to bring him back. They could bring in a player on loan, a situation which would ease their problems until reserve hooker Luke Waterworth is fit.

There has been speculation linking them with a move for ex-Warriors player Bob Beswick.

He didn’t play for Leigh in Sunday’s Championship win against London but, even if Warriors want him, the Centurions may be reluctant to let him go.

In the short-term, Wane may bring reserve forward Nick Gregson into the reckoning.