New selection headache for Wane

Shaun Wane
Shaun Wane

SHAUN Wane spent the weekend wrestling with a selection headache as Wigan attempt to navigate their way to a Old Trafford.

The Warriors travel to Huddersfield this Thursday and are just two wins from reaching a Grand Final.

But they are stumbling into the play-offs, losing four Super League matches in a row including last Thursday’s 20-6 defeat by Leeds.

Wane remains confident his team can mount a realistic tilt at glory - but has studied footage of their defeats as he considers whether to make changes.

On the one hand, he has a clutch of fringe players who have shown their promise at stages this season, including Ryan Hampshire and Greg Burke.

On the other, his tested regulars have proved their capabilities in the past.

“I thought some of our young lads would have given us something different against Leeds,” said Wane.

Asked will he make changes, he said: “Yes, if I feel it’s needed in any specific positions, I will.

“But this team has now it before, so I know it’s a point of executing as well as we can.”

Wigan were handed a trip to league leaders Huddersfield after the early-season pacesetters finished the regular campaign in fourth.

If they win, they secure a home semi-final spot - and crucially a defeat carries the safety net of a second chance the week later.

Wigan have lost five of their last six Super League matches, slipping from their perch at the summat to raise concerns about their capabilities to challenge for a trophy double.

Wane added: “We’re realists and we’re honest, we know we need to improve but I’ve no doubts we can do that and we have the players to do that.

“It’s a long season, Leeds have had blips, so have St Helens. We’ve gone through one - but we have it in us to threaten any team and that never leaves you.

“It’s a case of doing it again, so I’m not stressed about it.”

Welsh prop Gil Dudson is likely to come back into contention if he recovers from a shoulder problem in time. Wane hopes centre Darrell Goulding will be cleared by a cognitive ‘head’ test following a clash of heads with team-mate Harrison Hansen.