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Season Preview: Wigan Warriors

Usually a champion side doesn’t undergo such drastic on and off-field changes during the close season.

They were changes that were known about for some time before the season ended but to lose one of their most successful coaches and three influential players is a massive loss for the Warriors.

It gets even more unusual for Wigan though, Adrian Lam is only is charge for one season until the arrival of Shaun Edwards, which is a unique situation.

Lam has promised a new, attack-focused style of play that hopes will bring the best out of George Williams at half-back.

Sam Tomkins has moved on once more but with Zak Hardaker, it adds a different dimension to the team on the pitch, while Morgan Escare has the ability to shine if given more opportunities.

John Bateman and Ryan Sutton have also exited to Canberra. Bateman’s exit being the one the Warriors will most likely feel the most.

More young players will have to make their mark on this Wigan side this season and O’Loughlin is still around to lead his side from the front.

With four wonderful wingers, Lam has plenty of options when it comes to finishers in Liam Marshall, Dom Manfredi, Tom Davies and Joe Burgess.

The surprising addition of Jarrod Sammut could also add another dimension to the Warriors attack.

With a World Club Challenge against Lams former club Sydney Roosters is just around the corner it promises to be another good year for Wigan and I expect them to finish in the top four once again.

Squad:

Morgan Escare, Tom Davies, Dan Sarginson, Oliver Gildart, Joe Burgess, George Williams, Thomas Leuluai, Tony Clubb, Sam Powell, Ben Flower, Joe Greenwood, Liam Farrell, Sean O’Loughlin, Romain Navarrete, Willie Isa, Gabe Hamlin, Liam Marshall, Taulima Tautai, Zak Hardaker, Dom Manfredi, Joe Bullock, Chris Hankinson, Oliver Partington, Criag Mullen, Josh Woods, Jake Shorrocks, Jack Wells, Liam Paisley, Josh Ganson, Liam Forsyth, Samy Kibula, Callum Field, Caine Barnes, James Worthington, Liam Byrne.

INS:

Zak Hardaker (Castleford Tigers), Joe Bullock (Barrow Raiders), Jarrod Sammut (London Broncos).

OUTS:

Sam Tomkins (Catalans Dragons), John Bateman (Canberra Raiders), Ryan Sutton (Canberra Raiders), Joe Bretherton (Toulouse Olympique).

PREDICTED LEAGUE FINISH – 3rd

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