Shaun Wane is expecting to welcome back a clutch of his big guns for Saturday’s Challenge Cup quarter-final.
Oliver Gildart (sickness), Sean O’Loughlin (calf), Thomas Leuluai (arm), and Dan Sarginson all missed last Friday’s defeat to Hull KR, but are likely to be in contention to face Warrington at the HJ Stadium.
The clash is a repeat of the quarter-final last season, which Wigan won 27-26 on their way to facing Hull FC at Wembley.
Gildart’s return will be especially welcome, with the centre scoring nine tries so far this term while it will also be captain O’Loughlin’s first game back since Wigan’s round six win over Hull KR on May 13.
And despite a disappointing performance last Friday, Wane is confident the players can put the loss behind them as they look to reach Wembley for the last time before the coach departs at the end of the season.
“There were a few factors (to the Hull KR loss),” he explained.
“Travel was poor. It took us four hours to get there with accidents and we were off in the game.
“It had been a bad week with my news and it was a combination of a few things, but our effort was great so I won’t hammer the players.”
But the coach has called for improvement in order for Warriors to reach the last four of the cup, and said they will have to be even better than their 38-10 win over the Wolves at Magic Weekend, which he said at the time was their best win of the season so far.
“We found out a few months ago how good Warrington are at home (a 16-10 loss in February),” said Wane.
“At home they are very strong, and will be better than they were at Magic.
“We need to be better again and focus on our detail.”
Meanwhile, Wane is expecting the worst from a knee injury sustained by centre Liam Forsyth in the 24-8 defeat to Hull KR last Friday.
The 22-year-old will have a scan today on the injury, but Wane is expecting Forsyth, who returned to Wigan from a stint with Bath rugby union in 2016 and is off contract at the end of the season, to be facing a lengthy spell on the sidelines.
“We’re expecting the worst, it looks like it will be bad news,” said Wane.
“He is off contract, but from a player welfare point of view we’ll make sure we do the right thing and his contract situation doesn’t come into it.
“He is a confident kid and upbeat and we’ll make sure he’s in good nick both physically and mentally.”