Lockers hoping to be ready for Saints

Wigan's Sean O'Loughlin
Wigan's Sean O'Loughlin

CAPTAIN Sean O’Loughlin may get his first hit-out of the year in Sunday’s friendly at St Helens.

The England skipper missed last week’s 18-14 loss at Leigh.

His wife Sarah gave birth to their third child over the weekend.

But Wane says the 32-year-old forward would have been unavailable regardless, because of a slight training ground injury which has now eased up.

Kiwi centre Anthony Gelling has also come into the frame after also being sidelined last week.

“In an ideal world they’d get a hit-out before the first Super League game, we’ll see how they are later in the week,” said Wane.

“But I’m hoping both Lockers and Gelling are okay to play.”

Lee Mossop’s chances of figuring at Langtree Park are receding.

The prop, back at the club after a season in the NRL with Parramatta, is recovering from a shoulder operation.

If he doesn’t get the green light to face Saints, he could figure the following week up in Workington.

But that may put his involvement in the Super League opener under threat. Warriors launch the new campaign at Widnes in front of the Sky Sports cameras on Thursday, February 5 – just four days after their friendly at Workington, which is likely to see coach Wane rest his front-line squad.

Mossop played just three games for the Eels last year due to shoulder problems.

Sam Powell is also hoping to figure in a friendly as he steps up his recovery from an ankle operation at the end of last season.

Powell, if fit, would give Wane another option at halfback – but may have to wait for the Workington match.

Wane admits he wasn’t “blown away” with Matty Smith and George Williams at Leigh, but qualified his remark by stressing friendlies are a chance for players to brush off the rust.

Williams has been handed the No.6 shirt for 2015 following Blake Green’s move to Melbourne.

“He’s still young so we’re going to give George a bit of leeway,” said Wane.

“But I rate him as a promising halfback who will be a part of this club for many years to come.”

Meanwhile, Wane will wait until later this week to see if recruit Taulima Tautai can play.

He suffered a rib injury in the loss at Leigh Sports Village.