Wigan begin title defence without Brett Finch and Pat Richards

Half-back Brett Finch, one of Wigan's three close-season recruits from
Melbourne Storm, will miss the start of the Engage Super League champions' title
defence through injury.

The 29-year-old, who has signed a two-year contract, hurt his neck in pre-season training and will undergo surgery this week.

'The news is a blow to the club and the player and, as yet, we are unsure of
how long he will be on the sidelines but he will miss the start of the 2011
season," said Warriors coach Michael Maguire.

Wigans Pat Richards

Big loss: Wigan will be without goal-kicking winger Pat Richards on February 12

'Brett is a great character and we know he will be looking to bounce back as
soon as possible.'

Wigan will also be without goalkicking winger Pat Richards, the 2010 Man of
Steel, for the start of the new season on February 12 as he continues his
recuperation from a ruptured Achilles sustained in October's Grand-Final win
over St Helens.

Centre Martin Gleeson and England half-back or full-back Sam Tomkins will sit
out Sunday's opening friendly at Salford with minor injuries but new signings
Ryan Hoffman and Jeff Lima will make their first appearances.

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