Matt Peet provides update on Wigan Warriors trio as prop nears return

Ben Olawumi
Brad O'Neill, Ethan Havard, Jai Field

From left to right: Wigan Warriors' Brad O'Neill, Ethan Havard & Jai Field

Wigan Warriors will welcome both Jai Field and Brad O’Neill back into the fold for their trip to Hull KR, but will still be without Ethan Havard, as confirmed by head coach Matt Peet.

Field and O’Neill both watched from the sidelines as the Cherry & Whites beat Castleford Tigers 36-14 at the DW Stadium last weekend.

Peet explained at the time that, not for the first time this season, they had taken the chance to give Field a rest with the Australian still dealing with a slight muscle problem. The full-back could have played had he needed too.

O’Neill’s absence was also not related to any serious injury, with Peet giving him the chance to have a rest with the newly-introduced match limits in mind.

Havard meanwhile has been sidelined since the Warriors’ Grand Final triumph against Catalans Dragons last October. Having been rushed back from injury then, he lasted just 10 minutes at Old Trafford before being forced off again, and hasn’t been seen since.

Matt Peet provides update on Wigan Warriors trio including Jai Field & Brad O’Neill following last week’s absence

As expected, Peet confirmed today that both Field and O’Neill will be back in the squad for their Round 9 clash against KR at Craven Park.

He explained in further detail the problem that Field has been dealing with so far this season, saying: “Jai will play. He just had a tight quad, not a pulled one, he just had a bit of tightness coming out of games.

“That was meaning that he couldn’t always train, so when we’ve had opportunities to rest him, we’ve taken them and he’s pretty much overcome them now.

“I guess you never know (whether he’ll need more breaks this season), but we’ll monitor it. He feels great at the moment and he’s trained excellently today.

“He’s at 100% of his max speed, it’s a minor issue really and respectfully, if the games hadn’t run the way they had, then he wouldn’t have been rested. It’s just when we’ve felt we’ve had that opportunity, we’ve taken it.”

And having confirmed O’Neill’s return, Peet discussed the match limits which have come into play this season, detailing that he believes it’s a good thing for the game.

He added: “It’s not been difficult (to manage) at all. We understand why it’s in, we get it, and it probably just helps you to keep doing things that you would do anyway.

“We’ll always try and keep an eye on these young players and make sure that they’re not being overexposed, so I think it’s a good rule.”

Prop Ethan Havard nears return, but won’t be back this week

Ahead of last week’s game against Castleford, Peet detailed that Havard’s injured leg still wasn’t quite in line with his other.

Accordingly, the Bulgaria-born England international’s return was set to be next week, when Wigan welcome Catalans to the DW Stadium, the same team that Havard suffered his latest injury against in last year’s Grand Final.

On the 23-year-old, boss Peet is still confident on that return date, and confirmed: “There’s not a different one (return timeframe) to what I’ve spoken about in the past.

“We monitor him daily and as soon as he ticks the boxes physically, he’ll play.”