SHAUN Wane admits he was shocked England captain Sean O’Loughlin missed out on selection in the Super League Dream Team.
Two of his players – Liam Farrell and Joe Burgess – were yesterday named in the fictitious XIII, picked by a panel of journalists and broadcasters. It was the first time either player had been involved, and Wane was delighted they got recognised – even if some other selections surprised him. “It’s not the team I’d have picked. How you can leave Lockers out, I’ll never know,” he said. “But we can’t all agree and I’m really pleased Faz got in, because he’s been outstanding, and it’s nice to see he’s getting the praise now.
It’s not the team I’d have picked. How you can leave Lockers out, I’ll never knowShaun Wane
“The same for Budgie. There are some outstanding wingers around – in the league, and at our own club – but he’s done great.”
Leeds had four players in the line-up, St Helens, Huddersfield and Castleford two each, and Catalans had one representative.
Sydney Roosters-bound Burgess said: “Some people had asked me recently whether I thought it would be in, then when I was told, it was a nice achievement.”
Wane, meanwhile, confirmed John Bateman is set to return to his side for Thursday’s semi-final showdown against Huddersfield.
A place in the Grand Final is at stake against the winners of Friday’s clash between Leeds and St Helens.
Bateman’s return will give the coach a welcome selection dilemma.
His absence last Friday night provided an opportunity for Dom Manfredi, who grabbed his chance by claiming four tries in a 47-12 win.
Given Bateman’s outstanding form, the ex-Bradford man would seem certain to slot straight back into the starting line-up – possibly at centre, where Burgess provided emergency cover last Friday night.
But that would mean Wane must decide which winger misses out – Manfredi, Burgess or Josh Charnley.
Alternatively, he could accommodate all three by sticking with Burgess at centre and playing Bateman in the forwards, but he already has Farrell, Joel Tomkins and Sean O’Loughlin in the back-row.
Wane says his decision may be made for him, with several nursing minor injuries. He is delaying naming his line-up until after the final training session tomorrow.
“A few have got lower-limb knocks, so I’ll see who’s fit, who’s not, who I’m comfortable with,” he added.
“ Every team will be struggling to get players out to train at this time of year, I’m sure Huddersfield are no different. Everyone is carrying injuries, so we’ll see how we are after team run and make a call then.”