Wigan Warriors coach Matt Peet has confirmed that international prop Ethan Havard will return in Saturday’s Super League Grand Final.
England international Havard has not played since July 7 in their Round 18 defeat at Wakefield Trinity due to a hamstring injury – but he has been named in Peet’s 21-man squad for Saturday’s showdown against Catalans at Old Trafford.
And speaking in the Grand Final press conference at Old Trafford on Thursday afternoon, Peet confirmed that his front-rower is likely to return for the big dance.
“Yeah, he’s fit,” Peet replied when asked about Havard.
“I think there’s always some risk attached when a player returns from injury but there’s no way we’d be putting him in there if we hadn’t gone through all the relevant checks.
“He’s trained fully this week at high speed, the physios are well-versed at bringing lads back from injury so he’s ready to go.”
With Havard coming back into the fold, that has left Peet was a tough conversation to have with a player who will be 18th man at the Theatre of Dreams on Saturday.
“That conversation has been had,” Peet added. “(It was) fine, like they are most weeks, as long as you’re honest, that’s the job.”
Ethan Havard provides Wigan Warriors with boost ahead of the big dance
Havard was one of Wigan’s standout forwards before suffering the hamstring injury, which then required surgery, delaying his return until now.
The 22-year-old front-rower, who has already made 76 appearances for Wigan, made his international debut for England in their 64-0 mid-season win over France.
When asked how good Havard could be, Peet replied: “It’s a funny question. He’s played international rugby now, he’s got the physicality, he’s got the attitude, he’s got a level head on his shoulders.
“It’s difficult to put a ceiling on it, but he’s got a lot to like and he’s already played at a decent level for a 22-year-old.
“He played earlier on in the year in the test match and he’s had some good performances, and what Ethan will be looking to do in the coming season is having outstanding seasons and that’s how you become a really top player, but if you knew him as a kid like we did you’d know the level is pretty high that he can get to.”