Wane has strongest squad in months to choose from

Willie Isa was sinbinned for shoving Louis McCarthy-Scarsbrook
Willie Isa was sinbinned for shoving Louis McCarthy-Scarsbrook

Shaun Wane will have his strongest available squad in months to choose from this week after three players returned from injury or illness – and no players were charged from the derby.

Forward Joel Tomkins (groin), winger Tom Davies (ankle) and prop Ryan Sutton (sickness) are available for Friday’s trip to Hull FC.

And Willie Isa is also up for selection after the RFL’s decided to take no further action for the tackle on Louis McCarthy Scarsbrook for which he was put on report.

Saints coach Justin Holbrook labelled the tackle as “horrible”.

But Wane felt the RFL’s match-review panel, which scrutinise all matches and decides whether to charge players, made the right call.

“It was a rugby league tackle, (McCarthy-Scarsbrook) was still moving, Willie came in from behind... if Willie doesn’t join that tackle I’m into him for letting him carry on walking,” said Wane.

“There isn’t a nasty bone in Willie’s body.”

The RFL’s match review panel explained Isa didn’t face further action as he “makes tackle from behind, making direct contact to back of legs of opponent.

“Contact made around middle of the upper leg. Player has dropped to knee before making contact and is not reckless and does not use excessive force.”

Wigan won the derby 26-16 to keep alive their top-four hopes.

Holbrook later told saintsrlfc.com: “I thought the tackle (Isa on LMS) wasn’t good – if that isn’t a dangerous tackle? It is the most horrible thing for a fan to watch.

“If I am a mum or dad would I let my kid play rugby if that is not a penalty?

“How can you put it on report and just let them play the ball.

“There is a Salford player out for months because of that exact tackle and then at the end of the game someone gives little shove and gets 10 for that. No one is getting hurt for that, are they?”

Isa was the player later sinbinned for shoving McCarthy-Scarsbook. The match review panel considered the yellow card sufficient punishment.

Thomas Leuluai was cautioned for sliding in with his feet to try and prevent a try, but is free to face Hull FC. And Wane will have a trio of players returning to the squad, looking to claim a victory which would keep them on track for a top-four finish.

“It’s the most number of players I’ve had available for a while,” said Wane.

“It hurt us losing Dom Manfredi (to injury) and we obviously let Lewis Tierney and Romain Navarrete join Catalans on loan, which was the right thing to do.

“But it’s important we’ve got as many players back at the right time.

“Everyone is in a great mood, we’ve reviewed the Saints game and all the players came into training banging.”