McIlorum tipped for starring role

Wigan Warriors' Michael McIlorum is congratulated on scoring his team's first try last Friday
Wigan Warriors' Michael McIlorum is congratulated on scoring his team's first try last Friday

MICKY McIlorum has been tipped to play a starring role this year – after “killing” it in training!

The tough-tackling No.9 scored two tries in Wigan’s opening game a week ago and will again lead from the front tomorrow night, when Shaun Wane takes his players to Huddersfield.

McIlorum finished last season with a serious arm injury which hampered his pre-season training and ruled him out of the two friendlies.

He only returned to full-contact a week before the new season, but any concerns he may have been under-done were quickly wiped away.

“The week before the Catalans game, he was told he could get in and do some contact and he nearly killed about three of our under 19s in that first session,” joked Wane.

“He’s very intense and full on. I’m pulling him out of sessions more than I’m putting him in.

“He trained really well this pre-season and it’s done him good having a rest.”

McIlorum has dropped out of the England frame in the last two years and has a chance to impress new national coach Wayne Bennett, who brings his Brisbane side to the DW Stadium on February 20.

“I think it’ll be a big year for Micky,” said Wane.

“He’s a superb trainer, the energy he brings to training is fantastic. He’s a good kid off the field and a competitor on it.”

Wigan will today put the final preparations to their training ahead of tomorrow night’s clash at Huddersfield. Wane is expected to name an unchanged side, although Greg Burke has replaced unused Lee Mossop from last week’s provisional 19-man panel.

Burke, who spent last year on loan at Hull KR, featured for the reserves last Saturday and Wane is glad he has the new competition to run the rule over the fringe players.

“It’s a pity we can’t get more games but it’s going to help me massively with the first team,” he said.

“We did our review here last Saturday and then went out to Warrington, they had some first team players out so it was a great competitive game. It’s a great benefit to me.”