SHAUN Wane has declared “two spots” open for Wigan’s World Club Challenge showdown.
The coach has finished a detailed review of their 46-22 friendly win against New Zealand Warriors on Wednesday.
And he has a sketch idea of his starting line-up for next Saturday’s clash against the Sydney Roosters – but will use the training sessions over the next few days to dictate a couple of areas. Joe Burgess, who scored four tries against the Warriors, appears to have done enough to start on the left wing.
Iain Thornley is battling Dan Sarginson for a spot at centre, Sam Powell will be hoping to have nailed down at least a bench role, while forwards Jack Hughes and John Bateman are competing with Tony Clubb for places. Six props are also fighting for four roles.
Wane said: “I have an idea of my team but there are two spots which I’m still undecided on. I’ve watched the game again and I’ve got a tough decision to make.
“I don’t care how young or experienced they are, I’m going to pick the best team I can to win the game.
“I’ll probably make a decision early in the week, once I’ve seen them all train.”
Realistically, Wane only needs a 20 or 21-man squad to cover possible injuries over the next week.
But the whole 27-man touring squad will stay Down Under for the entire trip – and Wane reckons the benefit of that will be felt down the line.
“Everyone’s staying, which I’m pleased about,” he said. “An opportunity like this makes the team spirit much tighter.”
Wigan will train at NZ Warriors’ facilities tomorrow morning before watching Sam Tomkins’ debut in the NRL Nines in Auckland. They relocate to Sydney on Monday.
Jack Murphy, Lewis Tierney and Rob Lever have joined Workington on a month’s loan.