Wane’s selection headache for Rovers test

Shaun Wane
Shaun Wane
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SHAUN Wane is keeping his cards close to his chest as an influx of stars near full fitness ahead of Wigan’s trip to Hull KR on Thursday.

Blake Green, Eddy Pettybourne, Michael McIlorum, Iain Thornley and Dom Crosby could all be ready to play – while teenage winger Joe Burgess is a few weeks away.

But until he names his 19-man squad later today, Wane is remaining tight-lipped over who will get the nod.

“I very much doubt I will give them all a chance against Hull KR because I want to go there and I want to win the game,” he said.

“I’ve had a rough look at my possible team and there is some real talent not playing so I can put it to the players for these last games before the play-offs they are playing for their places and that’s really good for competition and hopefully that will improve our performances.”

The boss said his Warriors players will turn-up with ‘the right attitude’ when the champions return to action after a blank weekend, citing away losses at Wakefield and Bradford as warnings of the consequences of playing poorly.

“When we roll into town teams seem to play a lot better – we’ve been burned like that by Bradford and Wakefield this year. That won’t happen again I hope and when we go to Hull KR.”

The trip to MS3 Craven Park will bring back happy memories for Warriors fans. A 38-18 win in 2010 sealed top spot for the visitors and least season’s 84-6 mauling of Rovers was a league record for Wigan until it was matched with a win by the same score against Bradford this term.

But Rovers don’t always give Wigan a smooth ride. Warriors’ 42-36 win in 2011 at the same ground saw them have to fight back from 26-0, a Super League record, and Wane cites other obstacles to overcome.

“It is a very difficult place to go,” he said.

“The changing rooms, the way the pitch is, it’s quite open – there are a few mental battles to go on but I’m sure we’re over that now.

“They’ll be having a dig at us and we’ll be having a dig at them.”

Rovers have three points to make-up to sneak into the play-offs, and with Warriors hunting for top spot, Wane sees the clash providing a stern test.

“They will be trying to make sure their season doesn’t end in four games’ time and we’re hell-bent on winning our games and keeping pressure on St Helens,” he added.