Wigan Warriors coach Shaun Wane will hand 18-year-old half back George Williams his Super League debut as they bid to stay top against London Broncos.
Wane’s first choice half back combination of Matty Smith and Blake Green are out injured for the trip to Twickenham Stoop, but despite other options, Wane will rely on youth.
Skipper Sean O’Loughlin and Man of Steel Sam Tomkins can both cover the pivotal position, but Wane insisted he would rather see the pair stay in their own roles of loose forward and fullback.
“I don’t want to move the team around too much,” said Wane.
“I want to put a scrum half in for a scrum half and a stand-off for a stand-off.
“I’m not into changing that much, people in our team like playing the way they have played so I’ll be comfortable going with George.”
Sam Powell is the other youngster to complete the halves, keeping his place after filling-in for Green in Wigan’s Challenge Cup win at Hull Kingston Rovers last week.
But while Williams’ first team experience is limited to a cup win over Championship side Leigh Centurions, scoring a try, Wane admitted he will stand up to the test.
“I’m excited for Sam and George and I’m excited to see them play,” Wane said.
“This will be George’s first big test because London are a big physical team and he’s only a kid but he can play. He is tough and resilient.”
The Broncos could go bottom of the table if Wigan beat them and Salford City Reds win against Bradford Bulls, but Wane believes they have quality within their ranks.
London enjoyed a 25-16 win over the Bulls last weekend to reach the last eight of the Challenge Cup and Wigan need to win to stay top ahead of next week’s Magic Weekend at the Etihad Stadium.
“London have some talent and they have some experienced ex-NRL players who have played in Grand Finals, on any given day they can turn up and play,” Wane added.
“I have seen London both on a good day and a bad day – you don’t know what you will get from them.”
Image courtesy of Super League TV, via YouTube, with thanks