Wigan Warriors boss Shaun Wane wants a selection headache
Shaun Wane has called on the players not going with the squad to Australia to give him a headache for the rest of the season.
Warriors travel Down Under next week to play a Super League clash against Hull FC on February 10 before taking on South Sydney Rabbitohs in a friendly the following weekend.
Wane is taking a squad of 25 players to Australia and has already told the players who is on the plane - and who will stay behind.
He admits the decision wasn’t as hard as he had wanted it to be, and challenged those remaining in England to use the time well.
“They’ll do a lot of weights, a lot of skills,” said Wane.
“They’ve got two weeks and when I get back I want to see them flying. I want to see improvements because I want them putting more pressure on the first-team players.
“I won’t spend all year with players who won’t challenge for a first-team - it’s a no-nonsense year, it’s straightforward, and I won’t shift from that.”
Youth coaches Darrell Goulding and Shane Eccles will take charge of the players who stay behind.
And Wane will keep in touch with them while he’s in Australia.
He wants the players to emulate Frenchman Romain Navarrete’s attitude since he returned to the club earlier this month, having spent the back-end of last season on loan at Catalans.
“Romain has come back, his tail between his legs a little bit, and what he has shown me, he’s earned a place on the plane to Australia because of his attitude,” added Wane.
“It’s hard in some ways being at Wigan, in terms of the demands.
“But it’s also really simple in terms of what you need to bring, and that’s the right attitude. And Romain has done that, he’s on the plane.”
Two late tries from Swinton saw them take a 28-20 win against a young Wigan Warriors side at Heywood Road on Sunday.
With Wigan leading 20-18 going into the final stages, Mark Nicholson and Elliott Caine each crossed the line to snatch a late win for the Lions yesterday.
Wigan’s young squad included several first team squad players including Jake Shorrocks, Romain Navarrete and Liam Forsyth, while the Lions included new recruits and former Wigan players Gabe Fell and Kyle Shelford in their 18-man squad.
Liam Forsyth, Morgan Smithies, James Worthington and Samy Kibula scored Wigan’s tries.