Shaun Wane looks ahead to Thursday’s trip to Huddersfield
Warriors Head Coach happy to continue his commitment to promoting academy players
- Young prop-forwards Sammy Kibula and Ollie Partington in-line to make their Warriors debuts
Shaun Wane is backing his side’s younger squad members to rise the challenge of facing a resurgent Huddersfield Giants side on Thursday night.
Wigan travel to the John Smith’s Stadium to face the Giants, who under the stewardship of mid-season coaching recruit Simon Woolford, have enjoyed an upturn in form having won four of their last six Betfred Super League fixtures.
On facing Giants, Wane said: “They’re playing well since their new coach (Simon Woolford) has come in. You can see his influence and it’s going be tough as they play well at home. They had a bad result against Hull KR but since then they’ve had some good wins and they’re playing a different style of rugby, they’re more direct and straight forward in attack.”
“We had a great win against Leeds, which was probably the best win of our year so far, and then we backed that up with grinding out a win against Warrington. There’s some work to do but it’s a challenge for us. We have three games coming up that will have a big effect on our season, and they’re three tough games as well, so it starts with Thursday. The lads are ready they’ve trained well and we’re looking forward to it.”
The win against Warrington came at cost for Wane, with the Wigan Head Coach unable to call ipon England back rower Liam Farrell who has been ruled out of action with a shoulder injury he sustained in the gutsy 13-12 win. During the game, stalwart front-rower Tony Clubb was also struggling with injury, but Wane is hoping the influential front rower will be available for Thursday’s game.
“Tony is okay,” he revealed. “He’s come through the weekend well. We looked after him through the game, he didn’t play that many minutes, as he had a slight tightness in his quad, but he’ll be good for Thursday.
“Dan Sarginson won’t be ready for the game, he’ll be back next week and Lockers (Sean O‘Loughlin) has trained and will be in contention. We’ve also got Romain (Navarette) back, but we’ve lost Liam Farrell, so its going to be a tough one but at this time of the season everyone is struggling, so it what it is, but if we show the same amount of mental toughness as we showed last week against Warrington we should be okay.”
In recent weeks Wane has been forced into using some of his squads younger players, continuing his policy of promoting from within from the Club’s famed academy system. Wane, who has handed Wigan debuts to 39 home-grown youngsters during his tenure as the Cherry & Whites Head Coach, revealed that he would be doing the same on Thursday evening with academy prop-forwards Sammy Kibula and Ollie Partington in contention for their Super League bow.
He revealed: “Sammy Kibula and Ollie Partington are in the running. They’ve played very recently and trained very well. I’ve been impressed with their attitude, so it’s been a long time coming for them - they’ve been very close before (to making their debuts) so I’m looking forward to giving one of them their chance.
“I’m always very keen (to promote younger players),” said Wane. “I watch all of the reserve games and we’re always looking to put them into pressure situations in training - so I have a good idea of how they’re going to go before I pick them. It does get me excited (handing younger players their debut), and I’m buzzing for Thursday because of it.”
He added: “It’s a great wrap for our junior staff - guys like Matty Peet and Darrell Goulding – they are providing us with some excellent kids and I have the easy job of just picking them. They always turn up and do I great job. In our last game, I thought offensively Liam Paisley was very good, as was Josh Woods. Cal Field come off the bench and did well, as did Gabe Hamlin – he’s only 21 but plays like a senior pro – we’re in a good place. I’m very happy with the young kids, they’ve done a great job.”