Wigan’s triple injury blow as Junior Nsemba praised following Challenge Cup victory

Josh McAllister
Junior Nsemba, PA

PHOTO: Richard Sellers/PA Wire/PA Images

Wigan will be without back-rowers Kai Pearce-Paul and Willie Isa for a number of weeks or months due to respective injuries.

Pearce-Paul, 22, confirmed an injury blow ahead of Wigan’s Challenge Cup tie with Leeds, with both players missing in Matt Peet’s 17.

34-year-old Isa suffered a hamstring injury during the Super League Round 12 defeat to the Rhinos, having returned from suspension for the home fixture.

Meanwhile, the club will be without Ethan Havard after the forward sustained a dislocated elbow in the first half at Headingley Stadium in the Challenge Cup sixth round tie.

Junior Nsemba praised follow Challenge Cup victory

The Warriors fought from 14-0 behind to claim their spot in the quarter-final draw with a 18-14 result, live on BBC, with Bevan French (2), Junior Nsemba and Jake Wardle scoring in the comeback victory.

Peet praised academy product Nsemba, with the 18-year-old scoring his first try on his fourth appearance for the first team. 

“It worked out great for Junior today and I’m so pleased for him,” said Peet.

“I made a mistake a few weeks ago when I had him on the bench and didn’t get him on early enough, and since then I decided to give him an opportunity to showcase what he’s capable of.

“As soon as he came into the game he stood out and he set the tone for the other lads. 

“He’s a great lesson for the other young players because some weeks he doesn’t get a game but he was ready and I look forward to playing him again.”

The injuries may see Peet promote more youngsters from within, with Harvie Hill featuring for the first team in 2023 and the likes of Zach Eckersley and Tom Forber knocking on the door.

“I’m just proud of this team,” added Peet.

“It’s been a long week and at the start of the game I didn’t think we were good enough, but in the end our desire and the lads’ commitment to one another shone through.”

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