OUT-of-favour Josh Charnley has been challenged to keep his “head down and work” over the next week – and press his claims for a recall.
The England Test winger lost his place to fit-again Dom Manfredi for Friday’s 19-12 victory over Salford.
It’s straight-forward what I want from my wingers, and Josh wasn’t quite there. Dom is giving me thatShaun Wane
Manfredi had also kept him out of the team earlier in the season.
And with Joe Burgess in fine form on the left wing, it would appear Charnley would need one of them to suffer an injury, suspension or a dip in form before he gets a recall.
But coach Shaun Wane says Charnley’s commitment in training yesterday was “superb” and reckons he can still play a big role in their Grand Final tilt this year.
“He’s trained well, his attitude has been superb,” said Wane. “He’ll be disappointed not to be playing, but I’d expect that. If he wasn’t, I’d be upset.
“It’s straight-forward what I want from my wingers, and Josh wasn’t quite there. Dom is giving me that.”
But he knows what he needs to do, he just needs to get his head down and work, and so far he is doing that.”
Wane points out he has three top quality wingers who he rates highly – Manfredi, Burgess and Charnley – and given they are all specialists at their position, says it is inevitable one will be left out.
Earlier this year, Burgess was put on ice after a misfiring spell.
The three-way battle will only run until the end of this season when Burgess departs for Sydney Roosters.
Charnley, 24 later this week, has been linked with rugby union in the past but is thought to be keen to stay at Wigan – particularly with his friend Sam Tomkins returning to the Warriors fold.
Wane yesterday oversaw a full day of training, even though Wigan have no game until next Thursday – when they travel to Warrington – because of the break for the Challenge Cup quarter-finals.
“We should be in the Cup, and we’re not. So we’re going to work,” said Wane.
“We don’t want to be enjoying the time off... that’s not for me.”