Wane expects tough battle at Salford


Shaun Wane believes that Wigan’s second pre-season friendly against Salford will be a step-up from their battle with Leigh Centurions

Wigan were on the wrong side of a 26-20 defeat to the Centurions last weekend, with Wane fielding a youthful side against a Leigh team boasting the majority of their new signings. 

The Warriors travel to the AJ Bell stadium on Sunday for their second pre-season game, and Wane has admitted to wanting to field a side closer to the one that will play against Catalans in Super League‘s opening weekend. 

“It’ll be a more competitive game (than against Leigh), we’re going to put more of a starting 13 out,” Wane told the club’s official website. 

“We’ve got some key things, some key areas that we’ve identified that when we do them well, we win games. We did it well against Leigh just not enough, we had some young personnel in the team, but against Salford we’ll be more mature and I expect the key things we’ve been working on to be more intense.

“They’re very subtle things but they have a major say on whether we score or not, whether we get good field position or not, they’re small technicalities on our game that have a big bearing on things.”

Wane will want to name a few of the bigger names in his side this weekend, with the desire to hit the ground running in 2016 and to right the wrongs of a second consecutive Grand Final defeat last season.

One name who could be a surprise inclusion is Dan Sarginson, who is recovering well from a hamstring injury suffered in July 2015 and Wane admits the centre is impressing him in pre-season. 

“Sarge (Dan Sarginson) is doing really well,” he said. 

“Our S&C staff have been doing a really good job with him in getting him fit and strong. He’s put on some size and lost some body fat, he was in good knick anyway so he looks in fantastic condition.”

Wane was however frustrated at having to delay the return of his players who were on international duty for England in the Test Series against New Zealand, but concedes his club will just have to get on with it. 

“He’ll (Sarginson) fit straight back in, a lot of our internationals will play their first game back against Catalans,” he said.

“Which is sad for us but that’s the way it is. No other club will have to do that which is unfortunate.”