Derby debut for Dudson

GIL Dudson looks set to be handed a Wigan debut in the Good Friday showdown at St Helens.

The Welsh international prop was recruited from the Crusaders at the end of last season.

But while his former team-mate Ben Flower has established himself as a key member of the Warriors side, Dudson has yet to figure.

The 21-year-old has played for Warriors’ Under-20s and for Championship One strugglers South Wales Scorpions on a dual-registration this season, waiting patiently for his chance to add to the 11 Super League appearances he made at his former club.

Now, it looks like his opportunity will come in the cauldron of a Wigan-Saints derby.

Wane said: “Gil’s got a chance.

“He’s a lot to learn, and he realises that, but I’m comfortable putting him in.

“He understands what I need from him – it’s 80 minutes of his life that he needs to concentrate and absolutely empty his tank, and dominate whoever he comes up against.

“He needs to be full-on.”

Dudson could be joined by several other fringe players, depending on how many of the injured stars recover in time.

“This is a chance for Under-20s players to stand up and show what they can do,” said Wane.

“I enjoy the Easter weekend – it’s a big test, and if I have Gil playing against St Helens and backing up against Wakefield three days later... that’s when I find out about players like that.”

Liam Farrell underwent scans last night on a thigh injury, with Wane keeping his fingers crossed he wasn’t destined to join Flower and Lee Mossop on the sidelines. Tongan Epalahame Lauaki is suspended.

But Thomas Leuluai (dead leg) will play and Sam Tomkins has been on an IV drip to try and speed his recovery from tonsillitis.

“Sam is struggling,” said Wane. “But he’s a tough character and if there’s one game he’s desperate to play in, it’s this one.”

Wane will name his 19-man squad today, but he can make changes to that on medical grounds if Pat Richards (thigh), Sean O’Loughlin (knee) and Mike McIlorum (hip) recover in time.