WIGAN will step into the unknown tomorrow when they take on Castleford for the first time this season.
Although the Warriors have already faced St Helens and Catalan twice, they have yet to clash with Terry Matterson’s outfit as their scheduled Round Three meeting in February was postponed until next month.
Michael Maguire’s plans for the game have been disrupted by the England v Exiles game, which he went to watch at Headingley last night.
He will assess his players’ fitness at training this morning before deciding who will take on Castleford, and has already hinted he may hand recalls to the likes of Darrell Goulding, Amos Roberts, Jack Hughes and Stefan Marsh.
He also has young-guns such as Joe Mellor and Logan Tomkins waiting in the wings.
Maguire said last night: “It depends on how they pull up. We’ll get them in tomorrow morning and look at them, and then decide which way we’re going to go.
“At Melbourne there was an occasion when there were 10 blokes involved in a State of Origin game and they backed it up, so it’s nothing new for me. If the boys want to put their hand up and go again, I’m sure they’ll do a job.”
Wigan had seven players involved last night while Castleford had only one – Kiwi stand-off Rangi Chase – but Maguire had no complaints that the Yorkshire outfit have not had the same disruption.
“It’s what we’ve got to deal with, and we get on with it,” he said. “When you have quality players in your team they’re going to get the international call-ups – it’s flattering.”
Chase, described by Maguire as “a real danger”, was joined by his Castleford coach Terry Matterson in the Exiles camp – the Australian worked as Brian McClennan’s No.2 for the one-off international origin game. “I was an assistant coach at Canberra with Terry, so I’ve had a lot to do with him and we keep in touch,” added Maguire.
“I’m sure he’ll have his side prepared.”
Warriors are aiming to bounce back from their 20-12 loss to Catalan and a defeat to Castleford would be a nightmare way to prepare for the blockbusters against St Helens and Huddersfield before the end of the month.
“We’re not looking at the Saints game,” Maguire added.
“We’ve got to perform this weekend, we’ll assess the Saints game from Monday, but for now it’s all about putting in a performance.”
Harrison Hansen is expected to continue at prop in the absence of Andy Coley.
l MAGUIRE denied a story in yesterday’s The Sun newspaper linking Amos Roberts with a loan spell at Harlequins.
l girl band Parade will be headlining the pre-match entertainment at the DW Stadium at the Big One 3 on June 25.