Wigan coach Shaun Wane has named Ben Flower in his 19-man squad for the Thursday night clash with Warrington.
Flower looks set to return to action after his six-month ban for his infamous red card in last season’s Grand Final against St Helens at Old Trafford.
Sean O’Loughlin is not included, despte Wane hinting earlier this week that he might be, but John Bateman is included.
Wane believes that Flower is ready for action, and wants him to show similar levels of aggression to last season.
“He’s trained really well, I can’t wait to put him in. He just wants to get back to what he’s paid to do which is playing rugby and being one of the best middles in the competition,” said Wane.
“We need a Ben Flower in our team. He’s dynamic, just what I like, he runs the ball hard and he’s uncompromising. He’s perfect for me.
“I want him to just carry on from where you left off, in the play-off games last year he was one of the best. I want him back to that form as quickly as possible.”
Flower himself acknowledged this week that the return would be a physical and mental test for him.
“The first game will be tough but I need to play the same way as before,” he told The Guardian.
“I’m not the biggest prop and I make up for it in other ways. I need to come back and play with aggression.
“I might get some bad press saying he’s made a high tackle and he’s a bit of a thug.
2But that’s not what I am. I’ll play as hard as I can and if I hurt someone it won’t be intentional.”
John Bateman, Matty Bowen, Joe Burgess, Tony Clubb, Dom Crosby, Liam Farrell, Ben Flower, Anthony Gelling, Ryan Hampshire, Dom Manfredi, Michael McIlorum, Lee Mossop, Larne Patrick, Dan Sarginson, Matty Smith, Taulima Tautai, Joel Tomkins , Logan Tomkins, George Williams.