Wigan Warriors winger Josh Charnley will step up his return from knee injury by heading to the Championship to play for Workington. The England star has been out of action since the beginning of April after suffering a knee injury in Wigan’s Challenge Cup victory over Dewsbury. While the 22-year old managed to avoid surgery, Charnley was told to rest for two months in order for his twisted knee to recover.
Rather than return to the Warriors, Charnley could now be set to join Workington on a short-term deal in order to get some game time under his belt before returning to the Wigan first-team. The Warriors have a dual-registration agreement with Workington and Wigan head coach Shaun Wane says the partnership could be used to help the 22-year-old back to full fitness.
“They’re our link-up club and it’s the same with anyone else. If I think they need some match-fitness, that’s where they’re going to go.”
Wigan have previously used Workington to farm out some of their youngsters as a chance to introduce them to regular competitive first team rugby, and now the Championship club could now be boosted with the arrival of one of the Super League’s most prolific wingers. Currently 10th in the Championship, Workington would definitely benefit from having a player of the calibre of Charnley join their ranks, albeit for a short spell.
Charnley, who represented England at the 2013 World Cup, has finished as the Super League’s top try scorer for the past two seasons; scoring 36 tries in all competitions in 2012 and went on to touch down another 43 times last season to help the Warriors to the Challenge Cup and Super League Grand Final titles.
Despite scoring twice in the World Club Challenge loss to the Sydney Roosters, Charnley lost his place in the Wigan side and was replaced by youngster Dom Manfredi, with Wane making it clear the England international needed to improve his all-round game if he was going to earn a recall to the side.
“I’m very happy with Dom. Josh will get his chance, but he needs to grip it when he does and I’m not sure when that will be,” insisted Wane.
Charnley is one of nine Wigan players named in England’s training squad which are scheduled to meet up for a mid-season training camp – although it’s unlikely that any of the Warriors contingent will actually be able to link up with the rest of the squad for the three days. With Wigan set to meet Widnes on June 18, the club have made it clear they will be unwilling to release any of their players if it means missing their important Super League game – in a game the Warriors will go into as firm bet365 favourites.
Wane said: “They won’t be going on it if they’re playing for me against Widnes. It’s that simple. They’ll be here with me. I want to win that game.”
With the Warriors providing more than a quarter of the 34-man squad, the decision by the England management to arrange the training camp in the middle of the Super League season now looks somewhat confusing.