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Wigan Warriors star Jai Field out injured for extended period

Wigan Warriors Jai Field

Wigan Warriors are set to undergo a testing period as it’s been confirmed that full-back Jai Field will be out for an extended period following the injury that he picked up in the Challenge Cup Final.

It was revealed after Wigan’s success at Wembley that the Australian had sustained a hamstring injury which prompted him to miss the side’s narrow win over Castleford Tigers on Friday night.

Matt Peet’s side can now expect to be without Field for plenty more games as the true extent of the injury has been revealed by Peet ahead of the club’s game against London Broncos this week.

As revealed on the club’s social media, Peet told the press that the return timeline for the 26-year-old Australian will be “around the six to eight weeks mark”.

He would also go on to highlight the tenacity and toughness of Field to play through the injury, indicating that it had signified “how special he was that day”.

Peet noted: “It shouldn’t go unnoticed or unappreciated how special he was that day and it’s made me realise how tough he played,” before adding: “We won’t rush Jai back”.

As such, Wigan Warriors fans can expect to be without Field until early August if the club do give Field a lengthy rest as expected given Peet’s final comments. That would mean he possibly returns in Round 22 for the Magic Weekend clash against St Helens.

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How will Wigan Warriors cope without Jai Field?

Wigan Warriors Jai Field

Credit: Imago Images

It’s a devasting blow for Wigan Warriors but Matt Peet’s side are a team with greater things on their mind than the next eight weeks with the goal certain to be repeating their Grand Final win. Ensuring Field is back in time for that and doesn’t suffer a setback in his recovery will be among the club’s top priorities now.

As such, that means they’ll be forced to experiment with their full-back situation and they have a number of options. The club started last season with plenty of movement in their spine and that saw reigning Man of Steel Bevan French play in the role.

French could do so but that would leave Harry Smith partnered with Ryan Hampshire or young star Jack Farrimond, something that Matt Peet may avoid doing so as not to put too much pressure on the youngster.

The decision against Castleford Tigers was for Ryan Hampshire to come into the halves with the versatile back deputising well as Bevan French shifted to full-back. That does cause the problem of moving one of the competition’s best halves into a different role which limits his impact.

Unfortunately, Wigan are lacking a replacement full-back and could have to set about placing square pegs in round holes with players such as Challenge Cup hero Zach Eckerlsey potentially set for a position change.

Alternatively, if Matt Peet doesn’t want to back Hampshire for an extended period then the club could make a move in the loan market with Hull FC’s Jack Walker currently playing in reserve grade and presumably keen to play first-team Super League rugby.

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