Wigan Warriors dealt Ethan Havard blow on prop’s return in first half of Super League Grand Final

Ben Olawumi
Wigan Warriors, 2023 Grand Final

Wigan Warriors line up ahead of the 2023 Grand Final - Alamy

Wigan Warriors’ Ethan Havard risk has backfired on them in the Super League Grand Final, with the prop limping off having played just 10 minutes at Old Trafford.

England international Havard was the only change to Matt Peet’s 21-man squad, announced on Thursday, replacing Cade Cust.

The Bulgaria-born forward hadn’t played since July 7 courtesy of a hamstring injury, which was worse than first feared and saw him require surgery to repair it.

Despite that, he was thrown straight into the action as an interchange by boss Peet on 18 minutes in the showpiece against Catalans Dragons, but pulled up only 10 minutes later and took a permanent place back on the bench.

Veteran Willie Isa – another recent returnee from a lengthy injury lay-off – replaced Havard on 28 minutes, with Sky Sports confirming that the 22-year-old will play no further part tonight.

At half time in the Grand Final, the score is locked level at 2-2. Harry Smith opened the scoring with a penalty for the Warriors, before Adam Keighran levelled things up for the Dragons just before the break with a two-pointer of his own.

Catalans Dragons ace comes through HIA

Before Havard pulled up, opponents Catalans lost second-rower Paul Seguier, who was forced off for a Head Injury Assessment.

The France international needed some stitches having had Liam Marshall’s boot scraped across his face – accidentally – in the midst of a tackle.

Seguier passed his assessment and returned to the field, with the Dragons going down to 12 for 10 minutes soon after when Wigan-bound Adam Keighran was sent to the sin bin for a tip tackle.

Top scorer and Man of Steel nominee Tom Johnstone also required some treatment having collided with the advertising hoardings after being tackled in-goal by Bevan French, though the winger too was fine to continue.

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