Super League: Winger Josh Charnley not in Wigan squad to face Huddersfield
Josh Charnley will miss Wigan's opening game of the FirstUtility Super League season against Huddersfield on Friday.
Last Updated: 05/02/14 3:13pm
Charnley is not yet 100% after off-season hernia surgery but he is expected to be ready for the World Club Challenge clash with the Sydney Roosters in two weeks and could feature in their warm-up clash against the New Zealand Warriors.
The 22-year-old was the leading scorer in Super League last season with 34 and his absence gives an even younger Warrior - teenager Joe Burgess - the chance to shine.
"It is disappointing to miss the start of the season," said Charnley. "I should be okay for the New Zealand game.
"It's been a few weeks without having the ball in my hands. It might be tough for me to get back in the way the wingers have been playing. There is plenty of competition and everyone is fighting for a spot."
Burgess scored a pair of tries in James Roby's testimonial clash against St Helens last week and is set to deputise for Charnley, although coach Shaun Wane has also included Anthony Gelling in his 19-man squad.
"Joe put his hand up," Wane said. "He's definitely a good player, I rate him very highly.
"He still made a couple of technical errors, which he needs to get out of his game, but that's his age. I rate him very highly, he's one for the future."
Michael McIlorum missed out against the Saints but should return to the side against last season's League Leaders Shield winners, who have included new signings Antonio Kaufusi, Chris Bailey and Jodie Broughton in their squad.