Warrington Wolves coach Tony Smith has insisted the club has lost “no sleep” over a return to rugby league for Ben Flower against his side on Thursday night.
Flower’s record six-month ban ended on Tuesday, in time for him to feature against the Wolves in his first match since being sent off in the Super League Grand Final last October.
But Smith says Flower’s return makes no difference to his preparations for the game, and says nobody at the Wolves has got too caught up in the emotion of Flower’s comeback.
He said: “He’s served his time and, if his coach picks him for this weekend, that’s fine. It makes no big difference to us.
“They’ll play to their systems and they’re playing very well. They’ve got a number of different players they can choose from in that sort of role. It’s whether they feel they he’s the best one for the occasion.
“We haven’t lost any sleep over that.”
Warriors captain Sean O’Loughlin has not been named in the Wigan 19 for the game, but Smith revealed his adulation for the Wigan skipper, talking up the influence he has on Shaun Wane’s side.
“I’ve said it before, I think he has the biggest influence of any player on any team,” said Smith. “Whether that be the case in his returning match, I have no doubt he will still have a big influence if he does play because he’s such a good player.
“Everyone knows what a big fan I am of Sean’s.”