Wigan Warriors coach Shaun Wane and Warrington coach Tony Smith have both named their squads for Thursday night’s blockbuster at the DW Stadium between the clubs in third and fifth positions respectively in the Super League table.
Wane has brought Ben Flower and John Bateman into his 19-man squad, with Lewis Tierney and Ryan Sutton both dropping out of the squad to make way for them.
Bateman missed Wigan’s game against the Catalans on Sunday through suspension, while Flower looks set to play some part in the game after completing a six-month ban for his red card in the 2014 Grand Final.
On Ben Flower’s return, Wane said: “He’s trained really well, I can’t wait to put him in. He just wants to get back to what he’s paid to do, which is playing rugby and being one of the best middles in the competition.
“We need a Ben Flower in our team. He’s dynamic, just what I like, he runs the ball hard and he’s uncompromising. He’s perfect for me.
“I want him to just carry on from where you left off, in the play-off games last year he was one of the best. I want him back to that form as quickly as possible.”
Smith has retained Declan Patton, Gene Ormsby and Toby King in his squad, although there is again no place for Gareth O’Brien and Kevin Penny. Joe Philbin returns to the 19-man squad, alongside Toby’s brother George King. Ryan Atkins will miss the game with a sternum injury.
The 19-Man squads:
WARRIORS: 1 Matty Bowen, 3 Anthony Gelling, 4 Dan Sarginson, 5 Joe Burgess, 6 George Williams, 7 Matty Smith, 8 Dom Crosby, 9 Michael McIlorum, 10 Ben Flower, 11 Joel Tomkins, 12 Liam Farrell, 14 John Bateman, 17 Tony Clubb, 20 Ryan Hampshire, 22 Dom Manfredi, 23 Lee Mossop, 24 Taulima Tautai, 25 Larne Patrick, 26 Logan Tomkins.
WOLVES: 3 Chris Bridge, 5 Joel Monaghan (C), 6 Stefan Ratchford, 7 Richie Myler, 8 Chris Hill, 9 Daryl Clark, 10 Ashton Sims, 12 Ben Westwood, 13 Ben Harrison, 14 Micky Higham, 15 Roy Asotasi, 17 Ben Currie, 18 James Laithwaite, 19 Anthony England, 22, Gene Ormsby, 26 Joe Philbin, 27 George King, 28 Toby King, 29 Declan Patton