Warriors looking to make amends
Wigan Warriors coach Shaun Wane will happily bow to player power when the champions resume their First Utility Super League campaign against Wakefield Trinity Wildcats at the DW Stadium on Sunday.
Wane had planned to rest a host of senior players following the team's return from Australia, where they lost 36-14 to Sydney Roosters in the World Club Challenge last Saturday, and field the members of his 27-strong squad who travelled to Sydney but did not play.
He still plans to bring in fresh players, including forward Tony Clubb and centre Iain Thornley, who were dropped after appearing in the Warriors' opening 24-8 Super League defeat by Huddersfield and youngsters Dom Manfredi and Ryan Hampshire - but has revealed that England forwards Sean O'Loughlin and Michael McIlorum specificially asked not to be rested.
"I have made a few changes because quite a few of the senior players want to play and put a few things right," Wane said.
"They were banging on my door and they've changed my mind for me.
"Dan Sarginson and Darrell Goulding are not going to play - I need to have a look at Anthony Gelling and Iain Thornley - but Lockers and Micky Mac and all the front rowers will play.
"We'll give a few of the players a rest, that was always the plan. We'll put a few of the fringe players in there, that's why we've got a big squad, to deal with situations like this.
"It will be a strong team and I expect a really good performance, a lot better than the way we attacked against the Roosters.
"They're hurting, it's been really tough travelling back, because we definitely undersold ourselves in Sydney. The players are looking forward to getting back to what we do well."
Forward Eddy Pettybourne, signed in the close season from Wests Tigers, was given a one-match ban for a high tackle in the World Club Challenge but would have missed Sunday's game anyway with a bicep injury which is not as serious as first feared.
The club are still assessing the ankle injury sustained by hooker or half-back Sam Powell during training Down Under.
"Eddy will be fine for Castleford next week," Wane said. "A bicep tear is a few weeks and thankfully it's not that.
"Sam Powell's injury needs two weeks to settle down and then there will be a decision as to whether we operate or not. He could be out for six weeks or it could be 12."
Wakefield are set to give debuts to teenagers Luke Briscoe, who is on a season-long loan from Leeds, and Jordan Crowther, who turned 17 only last week.
Briscoe, the 19-year-old brother of England winger Tom, gets his chance in the absence of the injured Jimmy Keinhorst and the suspended Dean Collis.
"I am confident they will not be fazed by the experience," said Wildcats coach Richard Agar.