Clubb to make Wigan bow

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30th January 2014

Wigan Warriors recruit Tony Clubb will end a six-month lay-off when he makes his first appearance for the First Utility Super League champions in tomorrow night's James Roby testimonial match against St Helens at Langtree Park.

The 26-year-old former London Broncos forward, who missed the last two months of the 2013 season with torn knee ligaments, was denied the chance to make his comeback last weekend when Wigan's friendly at Workington fell victim to the rain.

"It's been a long hard pre-season but it's all coming together nicely for us," Clubb said. "A lot of us are getting a run-out.

"I got injured at the back end of last year and missed the last eight weeks so it's been a few months since I've played. I'm ready to go now."

Wigan coach Shaun Wane has also included new signings Matty Bowen, Eddy Pettybourne and Jordan James in a 23-man squad as he begins the countdown to next Friday's opening Super League match against Huddersfield Giants, while St Helens coach Nathan Brown has included newcomers Luke Walsh, Kyle Amor and Matty Dawson in his 21-strong squad.

Although the 16st-plus Clubb began his career in the threequarters and once scored four tries as a centre for England, he will be in the second row for his new club tomorrow.

"I'm going to play as a back rower and he's going to use me as a prop and perhaps a bit at loose (forward)," Clubb said. "I'll be a bit of all over really but I'd say my days in the centre are over."

Kent-born Clubb left the Broncos on a sour note when, despite being made captain and having 12 months left on his contract, he asked for a move, to which the club reluctantly agreed.

He retains a soft spot for his old club, however, and is delighted to see them up and running once more after several months of uncertainty.

"I was a bit disappointed with how it ended," he said. "It was probably more bad on my behalf but I wanted to move clubs and luckily I got the chance to come to the best in the league.

"I'm happy to see them in north London now and signing good, young players, instead of 30-plus players who have only got a few years in them. I'm excited for them and hope they do well, although not against us.

"They give me a chance to come through and play first team at 17 and I suppose I will always have a soft spot for them."

The new-look Broncos continue their preparations for the new season with a friendly against Leeds Rhinos in the Ryan Bailey testimonial match at Headingley tomorrow night.

London coach Tony Rea is set to give a second trial to to Oxford Cavaliers winger Sean Morris, a triple Oxford rugby union Blue who only took up league last season, while the Rhinos are virtually at full strength, with all seven of England's World Cup squad getting run-outs, including new signing Tom Briscoe.

Meanwhile, former Wigan prop Jeff Lima and centre Ben Pomeroy will make their first appearances for Catalan Dragons in Saturday's friendly against Widnes Vikings in Perpignan.

Clubb to make Wigan bow 2013.superleague.co.uk