Super Sam facing fitness battle

Sam Tomkins (right) and Josh Charnley at Wakefield
Sam Tomkins (right) and Josh Charnley at Wakefield

MAN of Steel Sam Tomkins is one of five stars battling to be fit for Friday’s trip to Widnes.

The full-back twisted his ankle in Sunday’s hard-fought 36-23 win at Wakefield.

Matty Smith, Pat Richards, Ben Flower and Mike McIlorum also picked up knocks and received treatment yesterday.

With a five-day turnaround between matches, Shaun Wane said he may not know until later this week who – if any – will be fit to take part in the Sky-televised clash. The coach is already missing Australian stand-off Blake Green (ankle) and captain Sean O’Loughlin (knee).

Wane said: “I’d made no secret of the fact I was already planning to give a chance to a couple of younger players.

“But we’ll have to see how we go this week with the injuries before we know which way we’re going to go.

“They’re not serious injuries, but with such a quick turnaround we may just be beaten by the clock.

“We’ll have a better idea later in the week.”

Although Wane has insisted Wigan are not a one-man team, he is well aware of their dismal record in matches without Tomkins. In the last six games when he has been absent, the Warriors have failed to register a win.

Wane will once again look to his youngsters to provide reinforcement.

Dom Crosby, Jack Hughes and Tom Spencer played on dual-registration for Leigh on Saturday – Spencer was the sponsors’ man of the match – and Epa Lauaki should be back from a bout of sickness.

George Williams, who has twice featured in the first-team this season, could also come into the frame – he scored a hat-trick playing for the Under-19s in an 80-0 win at Wakefield last Saturday. Tomkins – who had scored tries in a joint-club record 11 consecutive matches until Sunday – is expected to be named in the England squad today for next Friday’s clash against the Exiles.

O’Loughlin, Josh Charnley, Lee Mossop, McIlorum and Liam Farrell may also be in the 20-man panel, from which the team will be chosen. The Exiles side – comprised of Super League’s best overseas players – will be named tomorrow.

WAKEFIELD’S Taulima Tautai was yesterday cautionedby the RFL for making dangerous contact with Sam Tomkins.