Wane may hand out another debut

Shaun Wane has more injuries to contend with
Shaun Wane has more injuries to contend with

Shaun Wane may hand out a second debut in the space of a week as injuries continue to bite into his squad.

Liam Farrell is nursing a shoulder injury and may be ruled out of Thursday’s clash against surprise-packets Widnes.

And stand-off George Williams – a late withdrawal last Friday – is also unlikely to recover from a back problem in time.

With five other frontline players still sidelined, Wane may have to again delve into his reserves.

The coach confirmed prop Joe Bretherton is on stand-by in case Farrell is ruled out.

England forward Farrell only played in the 28-6 win against Leeds after passing a late fitness test.

His injury isn’t serious but, mindful of the hectic Easter programme on the horizon, Wane may decide to rest him.

He said: “It’s nothing major, there is still a chance Faz will play but I may take the view of leaving him out. I’ve not yet decided which way to go.”

It raises the possibility that Bretherton will nudge into the frame.

The 20-year-old is one of five academy-products who were promoted to the senior squad this year.

The 6ft 5in forward featured in the pre-season friendly game at Leigh.

Back-rower Nick Gregson – who was handed his debut on Friday – is likely to hang onto his place in the squad.

He came off the bench and played the last few minutes against the Rhinos.

“I take pride from giving Nick a chance,” said Wane.

“And I’m looking forward to being able to give Joe Bretherton a debut, if not this week then hopefully soon.”

The only fit player – with Super League experience – who didn’t figure against Leeds was Lewis Tierney.

Wane dropped him and decided to switch centre Dan Sarginson to full-back – a ploy which allowed in-form Oliver Gildart to start in the three-quarters.

And he confirmed Sarginson is “more than likely” set to continue in the No.1 role this week.

He said: “I thought Sarge did well.

“There’s still some improvement in him but he’s a competitor and he showed that against Leeds.

“I thought all of our back five were great.”

Wane, who has no disciplinary issues to contend with, will name his 19-man squad this afternoon.

Of the other injured players, Joel Tomkins and Willie Isa are expected back in action first. Sam Tomkins and Dom Crosby are also sidelined, while hooker Micky McIlorum is out for the year.