Wigan without new-boy Smith

PA Sport
Matty Smith will sit out Wigan's Carnegie Challenge Cup semi-final against Leeds Rhinos

View photo

Matty Smith will sit out Wigan's Carnegie Challenge Cup semi-final against Leeds Rhinos

Wigan have confirmed that new signing Matty Smith will sit out Saturday's Carnegie Challenge Cup semi-final while opponents Leeds will have to do without Shaun Lunt if they meet Huddersfield in the final.

Scrum-half Smith was signed by the Warriors from Salford to plug the gap, in both the short and long-term, caused by the loss of Thomas Leuluai, who is out with a broken leg and returning to Auckland at the end of the season.

Smith, who made his Wigan debut off the bench in Sunday's win at Wakefield, was signed after the Cup register closed and coach Shaun Wane will stick with Sean O'Loughlin and Brett Finch as his half-backs for the first semi-final at Huddersfield's Galpharm Stadium.

"Obviously I left Lockers where he was at the weekend, knowing he was going to play there this weekend," Wane told a news conference at the club's Orrell training ground.

Wane also confirmed that threequarter Iain Thornley, who made a tryscoring debut as a replacement for Josh Charnley against the Wildcats, will also be unavailable on Saturday, having been signed after the Cup deadline.

Charnley, Super League's runaway leading tryscorer this season, missed the trip to Wakefield after picking up a calf injury playing for England against the Exiles last Wednesday and is not certain to return this week.

"I will know more about that at the end of the week," said Wane. "He won't train today. It was a bad calf injury. I hope we get him back, his form has been fantastic."

Wane said there also remained a doubt over hooker Michael McIlorum, who missed the 52-10 win at Wakefield, but was confident prop forwards Jeff Lima and Paul Prescott will return.

"There are doubts over four or five," he added. "I'm not 100% sure what my team is going to be yet. It is a bit of a short turnaround for us this week. Leeds have had two more days and I won't have everybody training today which is a shame."

Wigan still hope to have Leuluai and goalkicking winger Pat Richards back for Wembley on August 25 if they overcome Leeds. Richards has been out since April with a knee injury and has suffered a setback in his rehabilitation.

View comments (0)