The heat is on

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THE return of Liam Farrell and Joel Tomkins is putting pressure on EVERY player in the team, according to Michael Maguire.

Farrell and Tomkins have come back into the reckoning for tomorrow night’s Super League clash at derby, after missing out last week due to injury and suspension respectively.

With Chris Tuson, Harrison Hansen and Ryan Hoffman all fit from last Friday’s loss to Warrington, it has given Maguire a welcomed selection headache.

But he says the congestion for back-row spots is having a knock-on effect throughout the team.

“I’d like to think all the players are feeling the pressure, not just the forwards,” said Maguire.

“We’ve got blokes there who can move around and it comes back to performances, if they perform they’ll get a chance in the team because we’ve got several options open to us – we’re not limited to saying ‘he’s a backrower’ and so on.”

Mossop has already switched from second-row to prop this year, Hansen could do so also, while loose forward Sean O’Loughlin (stand-off) and Tomkins (centre) are comfortable in the backs.

And that may be evident when the Warriors run out at Headingley, with some suggestion that Maguire may shuffle his three-quarter line.

Tomkins looks set to play at least some of the match at centre to shackle evergreen Keith Senior, while Josh Charnley is expected to be dropped to the Under-20s following an off-day against the Wolves, and be replaced by Australian Amos Roberts.

Wigan have let two of their young players join Barrow to gain senior experience.

Prop Ben Davies – who has played five first-team games for Warriors – has joined on a month’s loan, while 19-year-old forward Jack Hughes has linked-up with the Championship outfit on a dual-registration.

The deal means that Hughes can play for both the Warriors and Raiders at any time throughout the season. The pair will train with Wigan during the week.

Rugby manager Kris Radlinski said: “We have found that the loan and dual registration contracts work perfectly for us.

“Liam Farrell, Chris Tuson, Josh Charnley and Stefan Marsh all went to various clubs last year and they are now pushing for first team places with Wigan every week.

“They are playing a higher level of rugby than the Under 20’s competition which prepares them for the next step into the first team.”

Barrow are coached by Radlinski’s ex-Warriors team-mate, Nigel Wright.

WIGAN’S game at Wakefield on Easter Monday (April 25) has been put back from a 12pm to a 2pm kick-off.