Wigan coach Shaun Wane has insisted he has no interest in resting several of his leading players this weekend with a trip to Wembley just days away on the horizon: saying their game against Salford is simply too important to consider doing so.
The reigning Super League champions face a crunch clash against the Red Devils on Friday night, just eight days out from their Challenge Cup final date with Hull FC at Wembley next weekend.
Inevitably, Wane was asked at his pre-match press conference on Tuesday whether he would consider making changes to his side to give some of his key players a rest: but he said that with Wigan’s top-four hopes in the balance, he simply cannot afford to do it.
He said: “We’ve not really got much chance to rest anyone.
“We’re still a bit thin, if I’m honest. I do wish I had a few more players but, if I’m honest, I don’t think I would have rested anyone. This game (against Salford) is too important.”
“It’s great for Lee (Radford, Hull coach), he’s leaving players out every single weekend, he’s no injuries – all credit to them,” added Wane.
“We’ve not had that luck this year. He’s in a position he could have eight injuries and still be okay.”
However, one player that will not be in contention either this weekend or next is winger Dom Manfredi.
He made his comeback from a serious knee injury in Wigan’s reserve game against St Helens last weekend but suffered a tweak to his knee – and Wane said that while he is still being assessed, Manfredi will not recover in time for a Wembley return.
“Yeah,” Wane said when asked if Manfredi would miss Wembley. “He tweaked it in a contact in that St Helens game. We’ve had it scanned; it’s not looking that serious but we’ll know more towards the end of the week.”