Wane expects Micky Mac to impress

Wigan Warriors' Mike McIlorum
Wigan Warriors' Mike McIlorum

SHAUN Wane expects Mike McIlorum to firmly win Steve McNamara over in this autumn’s international series.

Hooker McIlorum is one of six Wigan players named in the 24-man England squad along with Sam Tomkins, Josh Charnley, Lee Mossop, Gareth Hock and Sean O’Loughlin.

And with no St Helens No.9 James Roby, who is rested, McIlorum will have a real chance to impress ahead of next year’s World Cup.

McIlorum, overlooked this year for the matches against the Exiles, will travel with the squad to a training base in South Africa and – though he will be banned for the opening match against Wales – could play against France and in the Final of the triangular tournament.

Wane said: “It’s a great chance for Micky, and I think Steve McNamara will love having him in the squad.

“I’m a huge fan of James Roby, he’s a great player and this country is lucky to have two outstanding hookers.

“But they have contrasting styles and I think Micky can lay down a marker.”

Wane admits he was “surprised” in-form centre Darrell Goulding wasn’t included.

“But Darrell will use that as motivation,” added Wane. “When I handed him the centre shirt at the start of this year, he wanted to prove he was up to it – and he’ll do the same with this.”

Man of Steel Tomkins, who missed last Friday’s play-off defeat against Leeds, will travel with England to a high-altitude South Africa training base and receive treatment on a knee injury, before a decision is made on whether he can play in the series.

l Full squad: page 39