Joe Bullock back as Adrian Lam reveals Wigan Warriors team plans

Joe Bullock may muscle back into the Wigan frame this week as Adrian Lam gets ready to make changes to his team for the visit of Toronto.
Joe Bullock hasn't played since last JulyJoe Bullock hasn't played since last July
Joe Bullock hasn't played since last July

The ex-Barrow prop hasn't figured since suffering a knee ligament injury last July.

He was overlooked for Wigan's opening two matches but Lam always intended to freshen-up his middle unit for the visit of Toronto, and says Bullock is in the mix.

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"I think it might be time to give Joe Bullock a go, that's the way we're thinking at the moment," said the coach, who still has senior forwards Mitch Clark and Joe Greenwood waiting in the wings.

Lam will today name his 21-man squad for the club's first-ever game against the Brian McDermott-coached Wolfpack, with question-marks hanging over some players.

Prop George Burgess is still nursing a hip injury which ruled him out of Friday's 16-12 loss at Castleford.

Hooker Sam Powell also missed that game following a head knock in the opener, and is waiting for clearance from a specialist to return.

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If he gets the green-light to play, his ability to play 80 minutes gives Lam the option of stacking his bench with four forwards; otherwise, Harry Smith may continue at halfback with Jake Shorrocks on the bench to cover hooker, providing he recovers from a calf strain.

"I'm still undecided with my team because I've a few to take into consideration," said Lam.

"I thought Harry was okay in the halves, he kicked pretty well for us against Castleford. He certainly has the respect of the players around him and I'd have no concerns if we picked him again."

Lam had hoped to have Welshman Ben Flower back in contention but his return to the side has been hampered by a back-strain.

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Winger Dom Manfredi is another frontline player close to a return. He played in one pre-season friendly last month, his first game-time since his 2019 was cut short by another serious knee injury.

"We've had to weigh up where Ben is he was going to come into the picture so we'll give him a day or two and see where he's at," added Lam.

"Dom needs to clear some testing tomorrow and then we'll bring him into consideration."

Asked whether he will soon have some selection headaches, Lam replied: "If we start playing well and winning we will."

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Hull forward Chris Satae will miss the game at Wigan on February 23 after being been banned for three games for a late tackle.

Satae was charged with a grade C offence by the Rugby Football League's match review panel following an incident in the Hull derby on Friday.

The panel issued a caution to Wigan prop Ethan Havard.