Manfredi lighting up battle for places
Warriors assistant coach John Winder says the club's coaching staff will soon have a welcome problem in team selection as Dom Manfredi nears fitness.
The winger hasn’t played since suffering a serious knee injury in the 36-22 Super 8s loss to Castleford last August, and was originally ruled-out for the whole 2017 season.
But the 23-year old has been nearing a recovery for the past few weeks, and although unlikely, could even be in contention to play this weekend at Leeds.
“He’s in full training now so he’s heading in the right direction. Probably this week or the next week he will be in contention,” said Winder.
But the Super League Dream Team member will face stiff competition to win back his place given the form of Joe Burgess, Tom Davies and Liam Marshall.
Youngsters Davies and Marshall have 30 tries between them so far this term, while Burgess’ scorching performance in last weekend’s semi-final included a length-of-the-field effort which was ruled out and a neat kick which led to Mickey McIlorum’s vital try.
“Budgie obviously came up with a big play in the game that led to a try and Tom Davies has been outstanding these last couple of weeks,” Winder explained.
“The metres he’s making are really valuable to the team.
“We’ve had that situation all year to be fair in our wingers. Liam Marshall was playing really well at the beginning of the year and for large parts of games Tom has been very good.
“Budgie is a quality player as well so we’re very fortunate that we’ve got some decent wingers there. There’s definitely some competition for places.”
Warriors should also be boosted on Friday with the return of Liam Farrell from a knee injury.
The England forward was named in Shaun Wane’s 19-man squad for the Cup semi-final win last weekend but failed a late fitness test.
“He’s good. He trained the day after the Salford game and he’s trained again so he’s heading in the right direction,” said Winder.
“We’ll take him to team run and get a check on him.”
Elsewhere, Warriors are waiting to see if Joel Tomkins will be fit after he left the field on Sunday with a groin injury.
Meanwhile, hooker Sam Powell will miss Friday’s Super 8s opener at Leeds after accepting a one-game ban.
Powell was charged with grade B dangerous contact on Salford forward Lama Tasi on Sunday and took the option of submitting an early guilty plea.