Derrick Williams looks set to get the nod to partner Darragh Lenihan in Rovers’ opening day game at Bournemouth as the wait for defensive signings goes on.

Scott Wharton, back from his loan spell at Northampton, made his first Rovers appearance in more than three years in the Carabao Cup win over Doncaster, with Williams on the bench.

However, the Republic of Ireland international, a scorer in the pre-season friendly draw at Leicester last weekend, looks set to get the nod for the opening Championship fixture.

That’s despite the 27-year-old being linked with a move away from Ewood Park, with Swansea City, as well as DC United and LA Galaxy keen on his services. Swansea were previously leading that race, with the MLS duo yet to stump up the money required to prise him away from Rovers, with no progress having been

A potential back four of Ryan Nyambe, Lenihan, Williams and Amari’i Bell first appeared together for Rovers in the 0-0 draw at Derby County in September 2018, with Rovers yet to add to their defensive ranks this summer.

That is a priority for Tony Mowbray, as is sourcing a new left back before the transfer window closes on August 2016.

“I sit with Derrick in my office, even in the last 10 days or so,” Mowbray explained of Williams, who has played just one for Rovers in 2020 because of injury.

“He’s in to the last year of his deal, he has a young family, and all footballers are in charge of their futures and what they want to do.

“I think it was very much looking like the exit door, but at this moment that’s not happened and my choice is that while he has a strong mentality, and a positive mentality and can do a job for our football club, then he plays in our team.

“He’s an international footballer, he wasn’t in the squad this time around, but is an international footballer, who’s got wonderful attributes.

“While he’s positive and remains focused on helping Blackburn Rovers he will help our team.

“If that changes of course then it changes, and we’ll see what we do on the back of that.

“At this moment in time it’s good to have Scotty Wharton sitting there looking more like he’s ready to play in the Championship than he has under my tenure.

“For this weekend I would suggest, that without telling you the team, that Derrick Williams has a good chance of being involved.”

Wharton had a stand-out year with Northampton last term, playing 43 times in their League Two promotion campaign, but the 22-year-old last appeared for Rovers in the Championship in August 2016.

His wait looks set to go on, but Mowbray has been impressed with the Salesbury-born central defender who he feels is more ready now for the rigours of Championship football.

“I spoke to Scotty Wharton before he came back and the plan was that she should come back again, for the third year of my tenure, for me to have a look at him,” he added.

“I would say this season he has looked more ready, more of a man, more filled out and able to deal with centre forwards at our level.

“With all due respect to Scott he’s done some fantastic work in League Two and got promoted three times out of that division, but I think he’s done fantastically well (in pre-season).”

Meanwhile, striker Sam Gallagher won't travel with the squad to Bournemouth after missing the majority of pre-season with a thigh injury which is set to keep him out for another week.