Three stars could be back for Leeds showdown

Wigan could receive a triple boost on the injury-front this week.

Monday, 27th March 2017, 6:13 am
Updated Saturday, 8th April 2017, 10:29 pm
Liam Farrell has missed the last two games

Centre Oliver Gildart is in the frame to make his return to action against Leeds on Friday night.

And Shaun Wane revealed last night two other first-team players may be back if they recover from their injuries in time.

Both prop Ryan Sutton and England forward Liam Farrell are hoping to play in the Headingley blockbuster.

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Wane has been battling an early-season injury-crisis which saw 13 players – including 10 frontline stars – sit out Friday’s tense 22-20 loss to Hull FC.

If Gildart, Sutton and Farrell are back, it would provide a significant boost ahead of a crunch phase of the season.

Their trip to Leeds is followed by a much-anticipated showdown with early-season pacesetters Castleford.

And the week later, St Helens are in town for the Good Friday derby.

Wane said: “We should be getting some bodies back on board over the next couple of weeks.

“I’m hoping Oli’ is good for this week, and there’s a chance both Ryan and Faz will be fit as well.” Centre Gildart started the season in scorching form before injuring his shoulder at Widnes a month ago.

Sutton suffered an eye injury the following week in victory against Leigh, while Farrell has sat out two games with a calf tear.

Wane remains hopeful the two players injured last Friday – Anthony Gelling (calf) and Ben Flower (head) – will get the green-light to face Leeds.

He added: “Everyone is in good spirits.

“The players knew they should have got something from the game on Friday – the fact we didn’t was our own doing – but we can take a lot of positives from it.”

He is still without injured backs Joe Burgess, Dom Manfredi, Lewis Tierney and Sam Tomkins, half Jake Shorrocks, hooker Micky McIlorum and forward Sean O’Loughlin, as well as some fringe players.

Wigan’s loss at the weekend, coupled with results elsewhere, has nudged them down to fourth in the embryonic Super League table.

Castleford came from behind to beat Catalans 43-26 in Sunday’s only round six fixture.

That win sent the Tigers back to the top of the ladder, level on 10 points with second-placed Hull FC and Leeds, who are third. Wigan have nine points, a point clear of fifth-placed Salford.