Lauaki’s return like new signing

Epalahame Lauaki
Epalahame Lauaki

EPA Lauaki’s return to action feels like a mid-season signing for Shaun Wane.

The front-rower made his first appearance on the year last weekend after a frustrating knee problem. And Wane reckons he “will get better and better” as he settles back into the side.

“We’ve not had him all year, so to get him back in the team is a great plus for us – he’s like a new signing,” said Wane.

“The first game back after a few months out is always tough, but he did well .

“He’s a big unit, and I want a middle with competition – and that’ll improve with Epa in there.

“I only seeing him getting better and better.”

Lauaki came off the bench in last Friday’s 46-6 victory against Salford.

Wane said: “I thought he carried the ball strong and made some good off-loads - I was happy with him.”

The coach had planned on bringing him back into the fold for the trip to London next weekend but a training ground neck injury to Gil Dudson forced his hand.

Wane can not put a time-frame on Dudson’s lay-off, admitting it “could be one that rumbles on.”

NEW Zealand Warriors full-back Kevin Locke has been linked with a move to Wigan as part of the deal which will take Sam Tomkins the other way.

THE RFL yesterday said no Salford player would be cited for the tackle which left Matty Smith nursing an injured shoulder.

Wane may discover today whether the scrum-half faces a spell on the sidelines. Wigan travel to Hull KR on Sunday in a 
Challenge Cup tie.