SHAUN Wane will keep his new half-back partnership on ice this week.
Fans are keen to see Australian stand-off Blake Green in action following his transfer from Hull KR – Wigan’s opponents this Sunday.
And with Matty Smith stepping into Thomas Leuluai’s No.7 shirt, the Warriors will have two new generals calling the shots this season.
They have yet to play alongside each other, but Wane has decided not to include them in his squad for this weekend’s second friendly.
Instead, Sam Powell – who made a try-scoring debut in a 48-10 win against Hull FC last August – will partner young Ryan Hampshire in the half-back roles against the Robins.
Wane said: “Blake won’t play this weekend.
“I need to have a look at Sam Powell, and Ryan will get another chance as well after playing against Leigh.
“I know what Blake and Matty can do, I’m happy for them to carry on training hard and working on their combinations in training and then they’ll come into the team.
“I don’t feel like I need to see Blake yet.”
Prop Scott Taylor, who followed Green from the Robins at the end of last season, will get another chance following his debut at Leigh last Sunday.
And more experienced players will also come into the fold to replace the youngsters who figured in the 30-6 defeat. “I’ve not finalised my team yet but I’ll probably give a chance to Paul Prescott and Chris Tuson, and people I want to have a look at,” said Wane.
“Scott Taylor will play, and a few more – it will be a strong team.”
Wane was disappointed to see his youngsters lost at Leigh and is expecting a better display at Craven Park.
“We’re going there to win the game, and I want to see all the things we’ve been seeing in training happen on the pitch,” he said.
“The players who faced Leigh know the performance wasn’t good enough, there are areas to fix individually but I’m not too stressed about it.”
Wigan are set to face Salford on January 17, which is expected to take place even though the cash-strapped Reds yesterday postponed a friendly against the Centurions for a second time in two weeks.
Wane is expected to field his strongest line-up for their pre-season match at Warrington on January 26. A youthful line-up will take on South Wales Scorpions the following day at The Gnoll, Neath (2pm), in a fixture confirmed yesterday.
Wigan and the Scorpions have a working partnership which will see fringe players turn out for the Championship One outfit on dual-registration terms this season.
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Saturday 25 May 2013
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