Wane predicts a smooth kick-off

Shaun Wane
Shaun Wane

SHAUN Wane expects the stability within his squad will lead to a smoother start to the new season.

This time last year, the double-winning Warriors were coming to terms with the loss of four big-name stars from their starting XIII.

And the turnover possibly contributed to their slow start which saw them lose three of their four competitive games in the first month of the season.

Matty Bowen admitted he took time to find his groove as Sam Tomkins’ replacement in the No.1 shirt. Pat Richards, Harrison Hansen and Lee Mossop also left.

But this year, there is a much more familiar feel to the Wigan line-up.

Departed Blake Green has been replaced by homegrown star George Williams – who actually played more games than Green last year.

And the highest-profile of their three recruits is Mossop.

Wane said: “We expect it to be quite seamless. Only three players have come in and of those, Lee knows our systems inside out. Taulima (Tautai) and Larne Patrick have fitted in well, too, so we’re not expecting any problems.

“The players who we brought in a year ago – the Tony Clubbs and Dan Sarginsons – have been in our system a while and know what to expect. Having not made any changes, we have got some stability.”

Wane, though, pointed out he enjoys the challenges of managing turnover and added: “Sometimes a change is what you need, sometimes it’s good.

“Things happen, people move on and – when they do – you have to deal with it.”

Meanwhile, Leigh’s high-profile recruit FuiFui Moimoi will arrive in England tomorrow ahead of an expected debut against Wigan in a friendly on January 18.

MoiMoi looks set to lock horns with his ex-Parramatta team-mate – Warriors recruit Tautai – in Paul Prescott’s testimonial.

Warriors will then face St Helens and Workington on consecutive weekends before their season opener at Widnes on February 5.