Warrington Wolves coach Tony Smith has revealed Chris Sandow and Ryan Bailey both have a chance of making his team for Saturday’s Grand Final with Wigan.
Sandow has not played since the Challenge Cup final defeat to Hull due to a knee injury, while Bailey has missed the Wolves’ last three games with injury too.
However, Smith admitted they are both in contention – adding that they don’t have to be 100 per cent fit to feature, either.
“They both have a chance, for sure,” he said. “They are putting their hands up but they’ve got to train well in the next couple of days and we’ll consider whether they’re worth the risk or whether we stay with what we have. Both are very experienced and if they’re both right there will be a temptation there.
“I wouldn’t have a team if I could only pick people who were 100 per cent fit – everyone is carrying injuries at this time of year. Of course they have to be at a certain level and they have to be able to do certain things to make it. But they don’t have to be 100 per cent fit, nobody is at this time of year.”
Smith was asked if a Sandow return would mean young half-back Declan Patton is omitted – but remained coy on the make-up of his team, with or without the mercurial half-back.
“Will it be a straight shoot between Chris and Declan? Maybe, maybe not,” he said.
“Having someone on the bench is a possibility but there’s a whole lot to consider. Who needs backup, who doesn’t and things like that. We’re going to put out our strongest possible team that we feel is capable of taking care of Wigan.
“I think Declan has been solid. There’s a lot more for him to learn and there’s a lot more for him to give in the future when he learns more, but he’s done a solid job for us without being sensational. I know he picked up a MOTM award on TV but sometimes their selections aren’t that accurate of who the best player on the park is.
“That week there was some unbevliueable performances from Clarky and Hilly, but when a new young one comes on the scene they catch the eye. He’s been solid without being sensational and he knows that too. I look forward to his progression.”
Smith also confirmed that hooker Brad Dwyer could come into contention, too.