Wane’s plan to bring in another teen debutant

Joe Bretherton played for Wigan in a pre-season game at Salford
Joe Bretherton played for Wigan in a pre-season game at Salford

Shaun Wane plans to hand out a fourth debut in less than a month.

Prop Joe Bretherton or forward Jack Wells, 18, could be in the frame to face Wakefield on Sunday.

The Warriors have welcomed academy-products Nick Gregson, Luke Waterworth and Jack Higginson to the senior side in the last four weeks.

Forward Gregson is set to switch to stand-off this weekend as Wigan battle through a injury crisis.

And teenager Higginson is set to hang onto his place in the three-quarters following his outing against Warrington a week ago.

Wane says there is uncertainty over his line-up because of a virus which has swept through the squad this week. But he confirmed he is planning to give another debut this weekend.

Wane said: “I genuinely don’t know my team, I’ll only know more on Saturday when we see who’s fit and who isn’t.

“But the way it’s looking, I’ll be giving another debut.

“It could be Joe, it could be Jack, it depends on the balance of the side and how many props we have on the bench.

“They’re both good players, Jack’s a tough forward from Salford, and Joe is a prop in the Paul Prescott mould.”

Of the nine frontline players currently ruled out, only England international John Bateman has a chance of playing against the Wildcats – but he was among those affected by the illness.

Wane told his sick players to stay away and only 12 players were in the gym yesterday, including injured stars and two academy players.

“We wanted to get some really good work into them, but we’ve not been able to,” he said. While Wane has been open about their fitness issues, he stressed he was not making a preemptive excuse ahead of Sunday’s trip to resurgent Wakefield, who are aiming for a fourth straight win.

He said: “We have staff here who get a bit panicky about it but there’s no point worrying about it.

“The way I think of it is, ‘How good will it be to sing our song on Sunday?’

“We’re going to get a lot of players back soon, so this is one game we need to get through and then they’ll start coming back.

“And make no mistake, the team I turn out will be a team which can win. There’ll be absolutely no excuses from us.

“I don’t fret about who’s out, I don’t lose sleep, I get excited when we’re under pressure and giving debuts out.

“Yes, it will be hard to get the two points, but it will make it more satisfying if we do.

“We’ll be fit and ready.”