Three more players added to Wigan’s injury list after defeat at St Helens

Drew Darbyshire

Photo courtesy of Richard Long

Joe Burgess, Joe Bullock and Romain Navarrete all picked up injuries in Wigan’s derby defeat to St Helens on Friday evening.

Burgess took a blow to his shoulder AC (acromioclavicular) joint, Navarrete suffered a wrist knock and Bullock also left the field with an injury.

The Warriors were already without regular pack members Sean O’Loughlin, Tony Clubb, Ben Flower and Joe Greenwood. Wingers Dom Manfredi and Tom Davies will not be back until 2020.

Wigan were already down on numbers following the departures of props Gabe Hamlin (UK Anti-Doping violation) and Taulima Tautai (drink-driving conviction) and now Burgess, Bullock and Navarrete are all doubts ahead of Thursday’s short turnaround against Wakefield.

Speaking after their 32-10 loss at rivals Saints, Wigan coach Adrian Lam said: “Saints are the benchmark of the competition and we learned some stuff from tonight.

“When you play these sorts of teams – you have to complete high and you have got to be playing your best rugby. I just thought we were our own worst enemy. We got out enthused.

“We had a lot of experience on the sideline. O’Loughlin, Clubb, Flower and Greenwood were out and that was our starting pack in the Grand Final last year but them being out gave the opportunity to a few young ones to come through.

“I thought Ollie Partington was pretty good, Morgan Smithies was good and Liam Byrne was good and they are still only 19. It was going to go one or two ways with the experience we had so it was a good lesson for us.”

Lam confirmed that Greenwood, Flower, Clubb and O’Loughlin are expected to return to face Hull FC in three weeks.

The Warriors boss also admitted that St Helens are the team to beat in Super League this year.

He added: “We are going alright at the moment and training has been great.

“The players are working hard for each other and I think there are some lessons to be learned. St Helens are certainly favourites at the moment and are the benchmark.

“It shows us where we are, it would be good to get a couple of senior players back in a couple of weeks but we just need to keep going at the moment. Hopefully we can get a team together on Thursday in regards to our middles.

“The short turnaround is a concern but we don’t play again for two weeks after that so the timing of that is a positive.”

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