Wane keen to avoid complacency
Wigan coach Shaun Wane will be taking no chances when his side begins their defence of the Tetley's Challenge Cup at Dewsbury on Friday night.
Mindful of the tricky hurdle the Warriors had to overcome in a fifth-round tie at Featherstone two years ago, Wane plans to field a strong team and says he is preparing for the clash with the Championship part-timers as if they were playing Leeds or St Helens.
Wane told a press conference at Orrell that the ease with which Dewsbury beat a Workington side containing five of his Wigan men playing on a dual registration last Sunday prompted him to drop any thought of resting his regulars.
"If they hadn't have beaten Workington by so many I probably would have done," he said. "I might do that against London, depending on how we play this weekend."
Wane has been doing his homework on Glenn Morrison's Dewsbury team and has also been gaining inside information from Gil Dudson, Jordan James, Jack Murphy, Jack Hughes and Connor Farrell, who were in the Cumbrians' team that went down 38-16 to the Rams at the Tetley's Stadium two days ago.
"I've had the players in and gone into detail about the game and their personnel," Wane said. "I've been through footage of every game they've played this year and we've had them watched as well but to have those players involved was helpful.
"We'll be treating them with respect. We went to Featherstone a couple of years ago and had a torrid time. It's tough going to these small grounds where they've got everything to gain. This is going to be their Challenge Cup final.
"I'm going to go with a very experienced team and I'm going there for a convincing win. I don't want to put any pressure on ourselves. We're preparing as if it's St Helens or Leeds. Our preparation is going to be really thorough."
Wigan, the 7-2 favourites to win at Wembley on August 23, have hooker Michael McIlorum returning from suspension and, with skipper Sean O'Loughlin coming through his comeback game against Catalan Dragons last Friday unscathed and half-back or hooker Sam Powell recovered from an ankle injury, Wane will be able to select from a full-strength squad for the fourth-round tie.
"We've got Sam Powell available and Gil Dudson and Jordan James are good," Wane said. "We've a pretty much clean bill of health and it gives me a selection headache. I've got a lot of people wanting to play in this game."
Wane warns Dewsbury that McIlorum in particular will be "raring to go" after being forced to miss the last three matches for a high tackle that broke the jaw of Castleford winger Kirk Dixon.
"He's fit and strong and raring to go," Wane said. "He's trained for three weeks and hasn't whacked anybody so he'll be keen to get back in."