Rugby League - Wane set to give youth a chance

Lewis Tierney, the eldest son of Wigan legend Jason Robinson, will get the chance to fill Sam Tomkins' shoes before the end of the season, Warriors coach Shaun Wane has revealed.

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Rugby League - Wane set to give youth a chance

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It is believed Sam Tomkins could leave for Australia as soon as next season

As Wane prepares to give scrum-half George Williams his Super League debut in Saturday's game against London Broncos, he says the 18-year-old Tierney is edging closer to making his bow. Wane admits Tierney would have had his chance by now but for injury and is a potential replacement for Tomkins if and when the England star leaves for Australia, which could be next season.

"He's just back from a serious knee injury but in the two games he's played since then, he's been outstanding," Wane said of Tierney, who has been with the club since he was 12. "I think in 12 months you'll see a possible full-back there. He's a good player. He has the same attributes Jason had."

He added: "If he hadn't have been injured, I'd have rested Sam and put him in but I will give him a go this year. I need to look at him because you can train at a high intensity but until you play, you never know."

Tierney, whose father was man of the match in the first Super League Grand Final in 1998 and was a member of Wigan's Challenge Cup-winning teams of 1993 and 1995 among more than 300 appearances for the club, was one of half-a-dozen juniors to be promoted to the senior squad at the end of last season.

James Greenwood and Williams became the first of the six to break into the first team when they played in the Warriors' Challenge Cup win over Leigh last month and the 18-year-old Williams will get his chance in Super League on Saturday alongside 20-year-old Sam Powell.

Wane's hand has been forced by injury to regular half-backs Matty Smith and Blake Green but he is delighted to be able to give more youngsters a chance following the successful integration into the first team of forwards Dom Crosby and Greg Burke this season.

"It doesn't overly disappoint me because I am genuinely looking forward to seeing Sam and George to see how they go," he said.

"If it doesn't work, then I know. At the end of the day, it's a Super League game, it's not a Challenge Cup semi-final. I didn't think twice about it because I don't want to start juggling the squad about. I'm excited to see the young kids play. They train a lot at our level and I don't expect a dip. I want it to be seamless."

Catalan Dragons have 39-year-old Steve Menzies back for the visit of Castleford on Saturday. The centre or second rower has missed the last four matches with a broken finger and makes a timely return as the Dragons look to avoid a third consecutive Super League defeat for the first time since 2011.

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