Shaun Wane concedes tomorrow’s clash could be the last chance for his Wigan fringe players to impress before he welcomes back some senior reinforcements.
Although Liam Farrell has been sidelined by a shoulder injury, Wane has Sean O’Loughlin (injury) and Romain Navarrete (ban) available for the trip to Huddersfield.
And with George Williams, mid-season recruit Joe Greenwood and Dan Sarginson all eyeing a return to action the following week against St Helens, Wane hopes the battle for spots intensifies.
Halfback Josh Woods, for example, has already staked a strong claim to keep his place in the match-day 17, Liam Paisley is set to play his third senior game, and either Oliver Partington or Sammy Kibula are in line for a debut against the Giants.
And Wane said: “I’ve said that to them all, this is your chance. When I put them in I want to see something – it’s not ‘have six weeks and bed in’, I’m not that sort of coach. I need to see something very quickly. It’s straight forward what you need to do to impress us as staff – Gabe (Hamlin) has done it, Romain has done it and stayed in the team.”
Back-to-back victories against Leeds and Warrington have ensured second-placed Wigan head over to West Yorkshire in confident mood.
But Wane has identified key areas he wants to improve.
“The one thing which disappointed me about Warrington was their three tries, they were all soft – we should and could have won it more convincingly, but we were our own worst enemies,” he said.
“We got the win but it could easily have gone the other way and I reminded the players about that.”
Huddersfield welcome back Jake Mamo for the non-televised game.
Huddersfield’s 19 man squad: Mamo, McGillvary, Cudjoe, Turner, Murphy, Gaskell, Brough, Lawrence, Hinchcliffe, Ferguson, Rankin, Roberts, Clough, Smith, O’Brien, Mellow, McIntosh, English, Wardle.
Wigan’s 19 man squad: Bateman, Clubb, Davies, Escare, Flower, Gildart, Hamlin, Isa, Kibula, Leuluai, Marshall, Navarette, O’Loughlin, Paisley, Partington, Powell, Tautai, Tomkins, Woods.