Wigan prop Ben Flower ruled out of Grand Final, Sam Powell to return

Wigan will be without prop Ben Flower for Friday’s Super League Grand Final, but hooker Sam Powell will return for the Warriors.

Wales international Flower, who is out of contract and set to leave the club, hobbled off 56 minutes into his side’s 29-2 semi-final win over Hull last Thursday and coach Adrian Lam has confirmed he has failed to recover from the leg injury.

The absence of Flower, who had been poised to join Toronto until they failed to win their place back in Super League, could open the door for England international George Burgess to end his first season with Wigan on a high note.

“He’ll (Burgess) be in our 21 and we’ll finalise our squad after the captain’s run,” Lam said.

Lam confirmed that hooker Powell will return after sitting out the last match for personal reasons, insisting he is an automatic selection in his team.

“It’s not a conundrum, he’ll play,” Lam said. “He’s been the heartbeat of our team and he’s one of the best nines in the competition.”

With Jackson Hastings set to revert from hooker to stand-off, youngster Harry Smith will be battling with Burgess for a place on the Wigan bench.

Wigan captain Sean O’Loughlin is bringing the curtain down on his career at the KCOM Stadium and Lam says his players will be aiming to send him out on a high.

“It’s important we play well for him,” Lam said. “You want to send off your heroes in a positive way.

“Sean sets the bar high, he’s a great leader here and we’re going to miss him.”

Any doubt over Friday’s last match of the 2020 season was removed when both finalists received a virtual clean bill of health from the final round of Covid-19 testing.

The Rugby Football League say, of the 95 tests carried out across Wigan and St Helens, the only positive was from a player in rehab. It means Catalans Dragons can stand down after being on standby.

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