Wane rubbishes Widnes comments
Wigan coach Shaun Wane has described claims the Warriors are running scared of England forward Gareth Hock as “stupid and ridiculous”.
Widnes Vikings boss Denis Betts suggested Wigan were “afraid” of facing Hock in Saturday’s Super League clash at the DW Stadium after inserting a clause in his loan deal preventing him turning out against his parent club.
But Wane responded at today’s press conference: “We don’t make stupid and ridiculous comments, like Denis has done.
“I’m not bothered whether Gaz plays or not. It was something (chairman) Ian (Lenagan) wanted to put into the contract. I wasn’t involved with that.
“Obviously that decision has been made and Widnes have to deal with it.”
The departure of Hock, who fell out with his home-town club in the winter, allied to injuries to Harrison Hansen, Gil Dudson, Epalahame Lauaki, Lee Mossop and Paul Prescott, has left Wane with a depleted pack ahead of Saturday’s game with the Vikings.
Dudson, the latest casualty, was today ruled out for between four and six weeks after breaking a bone in his hand during the Warriors’ 18-14 defeat at Leeds Rhinos last Friday.
Lauaki, who has yet to play this year after picking up a leg injury in pre-season training, is rated by Wane as “60-40 against” making his comeback against Widnes so Tom Spencer could become the latest youngster to step up.
Wane has been forced to give young props Dom Crosby and Greg Burke more game time so far this season than he would have preferred but he is excited by their potential.
“It does genuinely excite me to see Greg Burke, Jack Hughes and Dom Crosby maturing into real good players,” he said.
“When you think it will be three or four years before they’re going to be at their best, we’re in a real good position as a club.
“I’m hoping to get Tom Spencer and James Greenwood in at some stage and see how they go.
“We down to the bare bones at the minute but we need to get on with it. If we show the same desire showed at Leeds and play with a bit more composure on attack and a bit more concentration on defence, then we’ll be okay.”
Wane also revealed that back row forwards Sean O’Loughlin and Chris Tuson are nursing knocks from the Leeds game but he expects them to be fit to face the Vikings.