A phrase I find myself coming back to every other week so far this season is, Wigan see injuries as an opportunity rather than a concern. The injury to Thomas Leuluai and the England call up for George Williams makes the next couple of weeks very interesting from a half back point of view. The Castleford game first up, will probably see a combination of O’Loughlin/Williams in the halves, as they finished the Catalans game. The reshuffle didn’t seem to effect Wigan too much and if anything, they improved with O’Loughlin’s presence in the middle of the field. There will be question marks over whether O’Loughlin can do the full 80 minutes however and whether that is a viable long term option, until Sam Tomkins returns.
One thing that Leuluai’s injury does allow, is the exciting prospect of Escare staying at fullback and Tomkins/Williams as the half back combination. A mouth-watering prospect if and when Tomkins returns to his best! I am however, more intrigued to see what Shaun Wane does for the Salford game with Leuluai, O’Loughlin and Williams missing – I am wondering whether I need to get my boots ready, just in case?! The options are, Tierney, Escare, McIlorum and Powell to cover the 1,6,7 and 9 positions. Salford have no England internationals and have a settled, competitive team – so that game is going to be a very interesting one.
I am hoping, that the Salford game is the game which we see Josh Ganson make his debut for Wigan. I have been banging the drum for the Ganson bandwagon this season and I am very excited about his potential and I hope he gets his opportunity next week. If anyone is wondering what Josh Ganson’s game is all about, watch the Under 19’s highlights from their game against St Helens and the incredible bit of innovative play from Ganson to set up a try late on, in which he kicked the ball from dummy-half on the second tackle. A great opportunity over the next few weeks, lets see who takes their chance.