UPDATED: Wane playing the waiting game

Shaun Wane will wait until tomorrow afternoon before deciding his team for the showdown with Hull FC.

Wednesday, 22nd March 2017, 5:23 am
Updated Friday, 24th March 2017, 11:21 am
Oliver Gildart has been in sizzling form this season
Oliver Gildart has been in sizzling form this season

Centre Oliver Gildart is being given every chance to prove he is fit to return from a shoulder problem in Friday’s home contest.

But the Warriors will still need to draft in at least one reinforcement, because the two players who were injured early into Sunday’s 16-16 draw with Huddersfield - captain Sean O’Loughlin and fringe forward Jack Wells - have been ruled out.

O’Loughlin is out for two or three weeks with a calf strain, while Wells’ ankle injury is still being assessed.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

With nine other frontline players on the sidelines - as well as a couple other fringe players - the depth of Wigan’s senior squad will again be tested against the Challenge Cup holders.

Prop Joe Bretherton and utility Nick Gregson, who both debuted last year, played for the reserves last week and could come into the reckoning.

Another option would be to hand a fourth academy-product a debut - Callum Field, Caine Barnes and Josh Ganson are the only other fit members of the senior squad.

Assistant coach John Winder said: “Hopefully Oli Gildart will be back, he’s ticking the boxes so far but he’s going right up to team run and we’ll make a decision then.

“At this moment, we’ve not made a call on who else will come in.

“A few guys will go to team run and then it will be a positional decision after that. We’ll look at what players are on deck and make a call then.”

Gildart’s likely-return would allow Willie Isa to revert to his preferred role in the pack.

Tom Davies, who made a try-scoring first appearance on Sunday, is set to hang onto his wing spot in a backline featuring two other recent debutants - Liam Marshall and Liam Forsyth.

“I was really pleased for Tom,” said Winder, who took yesterday’s weekly press conference as Wane is recovering from a knee operation.

“He’s excelled in training, he’s had a month of good performances at Swinton (on dual-registration) and he took his opportunity.

“He was in three-figures for his metre-carries, and he finished his try well. When I watched it live, I must admit I thought it was 50-50 whether he’d got it down (before going into touch).

“But I’ve watched it back and it was a try, and a great finish by him.”

Here is a list of injured players and an update on when they may be fit to return:

Lewis Tierney.

Injury: Knee

Expected return: two-four weeks

Joe Burgess

Injury: Knee

Expected return: two-three weeks

Dom Manfredi:

Injury: Knee

Expected return: Autumn

Oliver Gildart

Injury: Shoulder

Expected return: This week

Sam Tomkins

Injury: Broken foot

Expected return: Late April

Jake Shorrocks

Injury: Knee

Expected return: Two-three weeks

Connor Farrell

Injury: Knee

Expected return: Two-three weeks

Liam Farrell

Injury: Pulled calf

Expected return: Two-three weeks

Micky McIlorum

Injury: Broken ankle

Expected return: Late April

John Bateman

Injury: Shoulder

Expected return: June

Ryan Sutton

Injury: Eye

Expected return: One-two weeks

Jack Wells:

Injury: Ankle

Expected return: Unclear, but not thought to be serious

Sean O’Loughlin

Injury: Pulled calf

Expected return: Two weeks