World Club Challenge: Matty Bowen available for Wigan's against Sydney Roosters
Last Updated: 10/02/14 8:20pm
Matty Bowen: Free to play in World Club Challenge
Wigan's bid to become the first English club in Super League history to lift the World Club Challenge on Australian soil received a boost on Monday when new full-back Matty Bowen was cleared to play against the Sydney Roosters.
The former North Queensland Cowboy, a high-profile replacement for Sam Tomkins, was placed on report for a high and late tackle on Huddersfield's Scott Grix during Friday's opening Super League match.
Giants coach Paul Anderson claimed the tackle "didn't look good" in the immediate aftermath of his side's 24-8 win at the DW Stadium but the Rugby Football League's match-review panel ruled Bowen's initial contact was with Grix's shoulder.
"All the players will be looked after between now and Wednesday and I am expecting a good performance against the NZ Warriors and hopefully a few players will put their hand up then to play against the Roosters in the big game."
The panel decided that the penalty, awarded by referee Richard Silverwood, was sufficient punishment, which means that Bowen is available for the February 22 clash at the Sydney Football Stadium.
Bowen is also free to play, if selected by coach Shaun Wane, in Wednesday's warm-up match against New Zealand Warriors in Hamilton.
Arrived in Auckland
The champions left Wigan on Saturday and arrived in Auckland on Monday following their flights via Dubai and Sydney. They are due to train at Waikato Stadium, venue for the friendly, on Tuesday.
Wane has taken a squad of 27 players, including new signings Jordan James and John Bateman, who were not selected against Huddersfield, and youngsters Dom Manfredi, George Williams, Ryan Hampshire, Logan Tomkins and Greg Burke.
Captain Sean O'Loughlin, an 11th hour withdrawal from the season opener against the Giants with a hamstring injury, and his England team-mate Josh Charnley (minor surgery) are unlikely to be risked against the Warriors.
Wane said: "All the players will be looked after between now and Wednesday and I am expecting a good performance against the NZ Warriors and hopefully a few players will put their hand up then to play against the Roosters in the big game.
"I wanted the players to come over here to a great country like New Zealand and play this game before hopefully going on to Sydney and making history."
Wigan squad: Sean O'Loughlin (captain), Matthew Bowen, Josh Charnley, Darrell Goulding, Matthew Smith, Blake Green, Michael McIlorum, Eddy Pettybourne, Tony Clubb, Scott Taylor, Ben Flower, Liam Farrell, Jordan James, Gil Dudson, Sam Powell, Dom Crosby, John Batemen, Anthony Gelling, Dom Manfredi, George Williams, Ryan Hampshire, Dan Sarginson, Logan Tomkins, Greg Burke, Iain Thornley, Jack Hughes, Joe Burgess.
Watch Wigan's World Club Challenge against Sydney Roosters on Saturday, February 22 from 08.00 on Sky Sports 2 HD