Wane to roll out big guns

Sam Tomkins
Sam Tomkins

SHAUN Wane will roll out his big-guns in the friendly at Salford tonight – with the instruction to treat it like a Super League contest.

The head-coach has blended teams mixing youth and experience in their two friendlies so far, against Hull KR and Huddersfield.

But this evening’s game at the new Salford City Stadium (kick-off 8pm) will feature all fit senior players including first appearances of the year for Sam Tomkins and George Carmont.

And Wane will use this evening’s contest to help decide who will make the cut for the start of the season on February 5. He said: “We’ll be going with our strongest squad and it’s up to them then – if they play well, they’ll get first chance.

“All the players are well aware of the standards we set.

“I won’t accept one poor performance and certainly not two.

“So the best front-rowers will play from the start, the next will be on the bench, the next will be in the Under-20s – the players all understand that and they’ve all bought into it. Training has been really sharp and we’re all looking forward to the game.”

Only three players are unavailable due to injury – Stuart Fielden, Paul Prescott and Amos Roberts – and Wane will run with a four-man bench against the Reds, despite having the option of extra substitutes in their last senior friendly.

The remaining players who don’t make the cut will join the Under-20s for a match at Leigh this Friday.

Kiwi centre Carmont said: “I’ve not played in any of the frendlies and the boys have looked good, so I’m looking forward to getting out there.

“It seems like a while ago since I last pulled on a Wigan shirt.”

Carmont will rekindle his prolific left-side partnership with Pat Richards while Gareth Hock will return as his second-rower on that flank.

Salford will field their strongest line-up though Wigan-born Matt Ashurst – an off-season signing from St Helens – is out with an ankle injury.

Ex-Warriors Iafeta Paleaaesina, Sean Gleeson, Stephen Wild and youngsters Stuart Howarth and Josh Veivers should figure.