Warriors to focus on dynamics

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WIGAN returned from their Scotland training base last night – and will now switch their attentions to discovering the ‘dynamics’ of the side.

The trip to Scotland was to test the players’ character and work as a team-building exercise.

And while fitness will still be a part of their training from here on in, the Warriors will put a greater emphasis on ball-skills.

Wigan have welcomed a new stand-off, Brett Finch, to the club following the loss of hooker Mark Riddell.

And that switch that has thrown up a range of possible scenarios for Maguire to consider, not least what position will Thomas Leuluai occupy in 2011.

The Kiwi returned to training this week – he was given extra time off for his involvement in the Four Nations – and Maguire admits his presence at training will help the coaching staff decide “the dynamics” of their half-back and hooker combinations for 2011.

Leuluai, the Harry Sunderland Trophy-winner, has filled in at hooker for Wigan in the past and frequently played in that role for the Kiwis.

Such a permanent positional switch would allow Finch to form a half-back partnership with evergreen Paul Deacon in 2011.

The down-side to that move, however, would be that it would see Leuluai share the hooker duties with Mike McIlorum – reducing the number of minutes in which he can make an impact on a game.

Warriors boss Maguire said: “Tommy has come back in great condition, which is great to see.

“The great thing about Tommy is he can play very well in both positions. He was man of the match at half-back in the Grand Final but in saying that, he performed very well at hooker for New Zealand so it’s something we’ve got to look at.

“Now he’s back we’ll start to see the dynamics of the team, and that will give us a clearer idea of which direction we’re going to go in.

“With Finchy coming in and Deacs playing so well at the back-end of last season, it’s given me a couple of headaches already.”

Wigan have arranged January pre-season friendlies against Salford and Barrow and are expected to tie up another, possibly against Warrington.

“It’s only a month or so to our first trial game so we’re going to be doing more and more skill-work in training, and we’ll take it from there,” added Maguire, who will this week discuss with the squad whether to continue with a leadership team or revert to a single captain in 2011.