Wigan’s Liam Farrell and John Bateman to return against Toulouse

Josh McAllister
John Bateman Liam Farrell

Wigan boss Matt Peet has confirmed that Liam Farrell and John Bateman will feature against Toulouse this Friday.

The Warriors host the relegation-threatened French outfit at the DW Stadium in Round 24.

Farrell, 32, has missed the club’s last two fixtures due to a minor injury. 

Bateman, 28, is set to return from the sidelines for the first time since the Magic Weekend. The England World Cup hopeful suffered a broken rib in the early stages of the defeat to St Helens but played through the pain at St James’ Park. 

The pair have been included in Wigan’s 21-man squad for Friday’s clash.

Morgan Smithies could also return, having been a late withdrawal from last weekend’s defeat to Wakefield. 

“John Bateman is a timely boost,” said Peet. “He’s worked very hard. He’s been dying to play for a while now. He is looking great in training and he’s a quality player but he brings us that leadership as well.

“Morgan Smithies is in the squad. We won’t push him and we’ll make a decision later in the week.

“Liam Farrell will play. It’s exciting. I want us to play well when they don’t play as well, but obviously they are high quality players.”

Wigan squad to face Toulouse: French, Bibby, Marshall, Cust, Singleton, Mago, Isa, Farrell, Bateman, Smithies, Ellis, Smith, Partington, Byrne, Pearce-Paul, Shorrocks, Field, Miski, Halsall, McDonnell, O’Neill.

Ramon Silva project

One player who is still fighting for his chance is Brazilian-born Ramon Silva. The 21-year-old is yet to make his first-team debut and has been a regular for the club’s reserves in 2022.

The prop forward also gained valuable experience on loan at Championship outfit Widnes earlier this season.

Asked if he could feature during the upcoming hectic Super League schedule, Peet told Love Rugby League that it is unlikely, but the youngster is progressing well in his first year with the club.

“It was always a big step for Ramon,” Peet said.

“He hadn’t played first-team at London. He’s come up and is working extremely hard. But the levels he’s working on at the moment are probably the right ones for him. His commitment levels have been unquestionable, but he’s still learning. 

“If you’d have asked me at the beginning of the year, I’d have said an outside chance of playing this year. He’s had a little bit of injuries and illness in his season. He’s probably not had the fluency in his year that he’s wanted but not through lack of effort.”

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