SHAUN Wane is facing a front-row dilemma ahead of Friday’s table-topping duel with Huddersfield.
Paul Prescott and Ben Flower have been ruled out for six weeks with knee and hamstring injuries respectively.
And Epalahame Lauaki is a major doubt after being knocked out in last Saturday’s Cup quarter-final victory over St Helens.
Their losses has thrust young props Gil Dudson, Tom Spencer and Dom Crosby into the frame for the trip to the Galpharm.
Prescott and Lauaki have played big roles in Wigan’s ascent up the Super League ladder this term, while Welshman Flower was in strong form until suffering a leg problem at Salford at the end of March.
He returned in the Under-20s and was due to re-take his place in the senior side this week, before suffering his fresh injury.
Wane said: “We’re likely to be without Paul and Ben for six weeks. Ben was ready to come back, he’d been outstanding for the Under-20s but unfortunately suffered another injury.
“And Epa’s still a doubt, we’ll see how he is later this week.”
Their injuries have come at a bad time for Wane, who admitted he would have been tempted to run with three front-rowers on the bench this Friday to try and combat Huddersfield’s big, physical pack.
But he said: “We’re fortunate that we have some good youngsters at the club and this is a chance for the likes of Gil, Dom and Tom to show what they can do.
“They will be ready. I’ve been putting pressure on our junior coaches to make sure they are ready to come in when we need them.”
Wane, who will name his 19-man squad later today, is also expected to recall centre Darrell Goulding after he missed the Saints match with a leg injury.
And his return is likely to push Jack Hughes into a bench spot, to cover the back-row.
Iain Thornley, recruited last week from Sale Sharks, is not available for selection as he is still away on holiday.
But Wane reckons the 20-year-old will need a period of “catching up” before he is ready to press for a place in the first-team.
HALF-season tickets have gone on sale to watch Warriors’ remaining six home games against Leeds, Widnes, Bradford, Castleford, Salford and St Helens. Adult tickets start from £97 and juniors from £26.
ST Helens hooker James Roby has his sights on the Magic Weekend and an early opportunity to exact revenge for his side’s Cup defeat by Wigan. “We want our revenge and this means turning them over at Manchester,” he said.
WIGAN legend Shaun Edwards will feature on Sky Sports’ Super League Super Men tomorrow.