McIlorum considering Ireland move

This article first appeared in League Express last week. For more stories from Wigan, including news of three players leaving the club, head to stores now or buy online at

Michael McIlourm has revealed he’s not given any consideration as to which nation he may try to represent at this year’s World Cup, instead saying his sole focus is returning to the form he hit prior to his lengthy injury break from the sport.

McIlorum, who has played just a handful of games since suffering a serious ankle injury in last year’s World Club Series, made his return from a one-match suspension during Sunday’s Challenge Cup tie at Swinton.

He represented Ireland, the country of his grandfather’s birth, in the 2008 World Cup but subsequently appeared for England.

He told League Express: “I’ve not thought about it. I’m just happy to be back playing out there now; if anything comes from all this at the end of the year then I’ll be putting my hand up for someone, definitely.

“It was a fantastic experience in 2008; I was only 21 at the time, so to get the opportunity to play in Australia for the country of my grandfather’s birth was great.

“I look back at it with fond memories and it was a great thing to do. To do it again would be great too.”

McIlorum conceded that he has played more minutes than was originally planned in his comeback due to Wigan’s injury crisis, but he says it will benefit him in the long run.

“The ideal plan was to do 20 or 30 minutes and build up from there, but we’ve not had that luxury as a team for me to be able to do that,” he said.

“But I’ll always put my hand up to play as long as I can.

“It’s been taken out of my hands, because we’ve literally got no players, but the quicker I get the minutes, the better it will be for me to get back up to full speed.”

Meanwhile, Warriors coach Shaun Wane has revealed Sam Tomkins is still at least six weeks away from a comeback.

Tomkins has not played since midway through last year and is currently battling an ongoing foot problem, but Wane said the England international took a significant step forward last week.

“Sam ran for the first time on Wednesday but he’ll still be around six weeks off playing,” Wane said.

“(It will be) towards the end of June, but it might be eight (weeks), because it was a complicated problem with his foot, so I’m not going to set a date for him.”