Super League preview: Wigan Warriors v Hull KR
Wigan Warriors will be looking to return to winning ways when Hull KR visit the DW Stadium in Super League on Friday.
Last Updated: 14/03/14 12:20pm
Wigan were upset by Castleford Tigers at the death in last Sunday's meeting and they will be the favourites to win against a Robins side looking for their first success of the fledgling campaign.
While the Warriors went down 36-31 to the Tigers last weekend KR were suffering at the hands of the one of the early pace-setters, losing 38-18 against high-flying St Helens.
Wigan welcome back captain Sean O'Loughlin and prop Gil Dudson from injury while Logan Tomkins starts at hooker in place of the suspended Michael McIlorum.
O'Loughlin's inclusion is a key one for the Warriors as they have lost just once in the last year in which their skipper has played, that defeat was the World Club Challenge to NRL champions Sydney Roosters.
Centre Darrell Goulding and second-rower Jack Hughes come in for Dan Sarginson and John Bateman and scrum-half George Williams is set for a place on the bench.
Defence the key
"We need to make sure our defence is more solid than last week at Castleford. Our attack is good and we have scored more points than this stage last season, we will always score tries but defence is where we need to get better starting this weekend," head coach Shaun Wane told Wigan's official website.
"We have had a tough start to the year with the changes we have made to the personnel but I think we are doing alright. I am not worried or panicking about anything, I know we will come good and come good very soon."
Hull KR will give a debut to experienced winger Ade Gardner following his arrival on loan from St Helens, taking over from the injured Craig Hall.
Loose forward Neville Costigan returns after missing the defeat at Saints through illness but second-rower Rhys Lovegrove is ruled out through injury.
"We'll turn up with the right attitude and hopefully we'll be at our best," head coach Craig Sandercock told the Hull Daily Mail. "Wigan should be a good game.
"They won the competition and Challenge Cup last season and they are at home. It's going to be a good test for the players. I don't know if they are going through a transitional period, but I know it's going to be a tough game for us."
Wigan Warriors: Bowen, Burgess, Charnley, Clubb, Crosby, Dudson, L. Farrell, Flower, Goulding, Green, Hughes, James, O'Loughlin, Pettybourne, Smith, Taylor, Thornley, Tomkins, Williams.
Hull KR: Burns, Carlile, Cockayne, Costigan, Cox, Eden, Gardner, Green, J. Hodgson, Horne, Keating, Langley, Larroyer, Netherton, Poore, Salter, A. Walker, Welham, Weyman.