Wane not thinking about semi-final

Shaun Wane only focused on Widnes
Shaun Wane only focused on Widnes

SHAUN Wane is confident his players will be taking nothing for granted after being drawn against lowly London in the semi-finals – if they overcome Widnes tonight.

The Warriors avoided top-eight rivals Hull FC and Warrington when the draw for the last four was made yesterday.

Instead, the winners of this evening’s quarter-final between Wigan and Widnes will be rewarded with a tie against the Broncos at Leigh Sports Village, with a place at Wembley up for grabs.

Wane said last night: “I can tell you now my players will not be thinking or talking about what the semi-final draw was.

“Our total focus is on beating Widnes, when you start thinking beyond that it’s when you get unstuck, and we need our complete concentration on this game.

“I don’t see it being a problem, the way we approach games, we’re never looking at what’s in the future, it’s always about the here and now and that’ll be especially true in this game.”

Wane has been boosted by the return of Lee Mossop and Sam Tomkins to the side this evening, while there’s a chance captain Sean O’Loughlin may appear after recovering from knee surgery.

He has been named in the 19-man squad but will need to pass a fitness test this afternoon to play.

Tomkins, summarising for the BBC yesterday, admitted: “It’s no doubt that’s the draw we wanted. But we’re taking nothing for granted, we’ve got two games before we can start even thinking about Wembley.”

While many fans tend to keep away from the Challenge Cup until at least the semi-final stage, Wane has no doubt over its standing in the modern era.

“For me it’s still the main competition,” said Wane, a winner with Wigan as a player and also as assistant coach two years ago.

“It’s a weekend you can go down to London and it’s exciting, I’d love to do it. But we’ve got challenges to face before we can get to that stage.”