Wane ‘excited’ to try out new combinations

Sam Tomkins hasn't yet played in the same Wigan side as Morgan Escare
Sam Tomkins hasn't yet played in the same Wigan side as Morgan Escare
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Shaun Wane will use Wigan’s long pre-season to try out new halfback combinations.

Morgan Escare’s return from injury has raised the prospect of him or No.1 Sam Tomkins switching positions.

Their spells in the team didn’t overlap last season.

Both are accomplished full-backs but Wane is open to the idea of one switching to halfback, rather than leaving one out of the side altogether.

George Williams and Thomas Leuluai – both on duty in the World Cup – were the first-choice halfbacks last season.

But the latter has been playing at hooker for New Zealand, and he could move to the dummy-half role – providing cover and competition for Micky McIlorum and Sam Powell.

Jet-heeled Escare could be used off the bench, while Powell can also play in the halfback roles – scenarios which Wane will assess over the coming weeks.

“I will look at it in pre-season,” said Wane. “We’ve got a lot of options. We could put Sam or Morgan in the halves, Sam Powell in the halves, Tommy at nine.

“Maybe Morgan coming off the bench to inject some speed into the way we play.

“It’s exciting – I like that challenge.”

Tomkins, 28, started his career as a fleet-footed stand-off before moving to full-back when Michael Maguire arrived as coach in 2010.

This is the first time Wane has had him in for a full, uninterrupted pre-season.

Previously he has been either injured or on international duty.

“He’s loving it,” added Wane. “I’ve never had Faz (Liam Farrell) in from the start, either, and those two are driving the standards of our sessions.

“They’re getting a lot of work in and they will both benefit massively from a full pre-season.”