SHAUN Wane was “shocked” after Mike McIlorum was left out of England’s squad.
Steve McNamara has included five Wigan players – Sean O’Loughlin, Sam Tomkins, Gareth Hock, Lee Mossop and Josh Charnley – in his panel for the two matches against the Exiles.
But he has overlooked in-form hooker McIlorum. And centre Darrell Goulding has also been snubbed.
Speaking from France, Wane said: “I’m shocked by that. They’ve both been in great form this season and in my opinion, they deserved their chances. Steve McNamara will have his reasons but I’ve got to admit, I’m a bit shocked that they’re not included.”
McIlorum made his England debut against the Exiles a year ago and, like Goulding, has been in superb form this season.
Liam Farrell is the only Wigan player in the second-string England Knights squad.
“Micky and Darrell have been outstanding all year,” continued Wane.
“James Roby is a very good player, someone I rate very highly, and Micky is up there with him.
“He’s one of the toughest players I’ve come across. He does a lot of the one per centers which some people may not notice.
“But the players notice them – that’s why he wins the players’ man of the match more than any other player.”
Hock’s return comes three years after his career was put on hold immediately following England duty, when he was hit with a two-year doping ban.
Coach McNamara said the second-rower “deserved” another shot after his eye-catching displays this term.
Hock’s two-game ban for fighting in the Magic derby against St Helens ends this weekend, allowing him to play against the Exiles – at Saints’ Langtree Park – in a week’s time.
With four Wigan stars also in the Exiles squad – Brett Finch, George Carmont, Thomas Leuluai and Jeff Lima – it’s likely that nine of Wane’s side will be in action in the first of two representative matches.
And the coach was pleased to see Mossop and Charnley rewarded for their sterling form this term.
“I’m pumped for them, they deserve it,” said Wane.
“Everyone knows what Josh can do, and Lee has been one of the form front-rowers in the competition.”
The Wigan squad flew out to France yesterday to prepare for the clash against Catalan in Montpellier.
Teenager Rhodri Lloyd, who debuted against Leeds last weekend, has kept his place in their 19-man squad.
Dom Crosby and Logan Tomkins are also included, while Chris Tuson and Lee Mossop return after serving one-game suspensions.
Wigan’s 19-man squad: Sam Tomkins, Josh Charnley, Darrell Goulding, George Carmont, Brett Finch, Thomas Leuluai, Michael McIlorum, Lee Mossop, Sean O’Loughlin, Jeff Lima, Liam Farrell, Chris Tuson, Epalahame Lauaki, Gil Dudson, Anthony Gelling, Jack Hughes, Logan Tomkins, Dominic Crosby, Rhodri Lloyd.