NRL audition on Mossop return

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LEE Mossop’s return to action today will be watched by Parramatta recruitment manager Peter Nolan – fuelling speculation he is poised for a move to the NRL.

Nolan is in the country to try and tie up a deal for the Cumbrian prop and Gareth Hock, who is on loan from Wigan at Widnes until the end of the season, as reported in the Evening Post earlier this week.

And Mossop will be keen to impress as Wigan aim to retain their place at the top of Super League.

The 24-year-old is one of five internationals likely to be back in Shaun Wane’s side, and the coach admits their return could not have been better timed.

“Bradford have a big middle but some real quality on their edges, so if we go there with a poor attitude we’ll get turned-over,” said Wane.

The Warriors boss also knows that, if Wigan don’t perform, Jarrod Sammut could sting them.

“Sammut is a one-off and very hard to defend against because even he doesn’t know what he’s going to do next,” said Wane.

Sammut already has 13 tries to his name this term and has made 18 clean breaks, five more than Sam Tomkins.

But Wane is confident Wigan will make it five wins in a row despite Bradford’s surprise league position.

“If we go with a real good attitude we’ll win the game,” he said.

“The way the youngsters have played has made me feel good about the rest of the year.

“I needed to know how they would go on and whether they’d last. But there is a time period and you can’t leave young kids in forever – they need a rest and, with Mossop and Hansen coming back in, we can do that.”

The performances of Wigan’s young players have also ramped-up the fight for places in the starting line up, which pleases Wane.

“We’re nearly halfway through the year and I’ve never had the luxury of a full team yet, so it’s good to have people coming back,” he added.

“Epa Lauaki is also getting closer to playing, so he’ll strengthen our front row.”

NEW Zealand Warriors recruitment manager Dean Bell insists Sam Tomkins is “not on our radar”.

The ex-Wigan captain is back in the country to try and bolster their squad for 2014, and visited the Warriors’ training ground earlier this week.

Bell said: “You’re always looking for quality players like that but, for the moment, he’s not on our radar.

“This is the second year I’ve come to England and it’s good to be here to keep up relationships.”

WIGAN’S Challenge Cup fourth-round tie against Leigh will take place on Friday, April 19 (8pm).