Wigan outside backs Liam Marshall and Oliver Gildart are set to make their first appearances of the year against Hull KR on Friday and coach Adrian Lam says one of them could be asked to fill the vacant full-back spot.
Winger Marshall has not played since picking up a serious knee injury against Castleford last September while England centre Gildart, who is leaving the club at the end of the season to join Wests Tigers, has been troubled by groin issues all year.
Lam will also welcome back Willie Isa, who will be able to slot back into the second row after playing as a makeshift centre for most of the campaign so far.
However, the Warriors will be without a recognised full-back as Zak Hardaker starts a two-match ban as a result of his dismissal for a headbutt in the club’s 48-0 defeat by Catalans Dragons in their last match, and Bevan French continues his recovery from a torn hamstring.
Umyla Hanley, son of former Wigan and Great Britain loose forward Ellery Hanley, could switch from the wing and Lam says Marshall and Gildart are other full-back options on their return to the team.
“Umyla Hanley is our academy full-back so it will probably be out of those three who will play back there,” Lam said.
“We’re having a tinker with that this week and no doubt we’ll settle on it at our captain’s run the day before the game.”
Wigan are still waiting to discover if French will play again this year.
Lam feared the Australian would be out for between three and five months after he sustained the injury against Salford a month ago and is still waiting for a time-frame for his return.
“Bevan has had surgery now and we’re waiting to hear back from the surgeon,” he said. “We should know hopefully by the end of the week.”
Meanwhile, Lam admits it would be disappointing if, as expected, half-back George Williams opts not to return to his home-town club.
The England international is on his way back to Super League after securing a release from his contract with Canberra and is thought to have agreed to join rivals Warrington.
“I’m not too sure where that is at the moment,” Lam said at his weekly press conference. “No doubt you’ll hear something about George in the next week.
“It wouldn’t be a great thought, George going to another club, being a Wigan junior, but that’s a bridge we’ll cross when the time comes.
“We’ve got a few players that have already signed with other clubs and players that are leaving so it’s a difficult part of the season for every club and we’re trying to make sure we manage our squad the best we can.”