The Liam Farrell Column: Here’s to Wane’s 150

Wigan Warriors head coach Shaun Wane at a press conference with Wigan Warriors and Warrington Wolves ahead of their First Utility Super League fixture on Thursday, held at Haydock Park racecourse.
Wigan Warriors head coach Shaun Wane at a press conference with Wigan Warriors and Warrington Wolves ahead of their First Utility Super League fixture on Thursday, held at Haydock Park racecourse.

We’re joint-top of the table but if I was to put a mark on how we’ve performed this year, I’d say we’ve played at six out of 10 so far.

At times we’ve been seven – at other times we’ve been lower – but overall it’s fair to say there’s a lot of improvement in us.

We’ve yet to hit our potential.

If I was another team I’d be quite worried, because we have so many frontline players out, it’ll be good to see how we go with a full squad.

I think we’ll be a pretty hard team to beat.

Our defence has already been pretty good this year – aside from the Wakefield game, when we slipped up – and I think the attack will come when people come back into the side and players go back into their natural positions.

It’ll be great to see one of our England players, George Williams, back in the side tonight.

I’m expecting a really tough game at Warrington.

They have no Chris Sandow but they still have a lot of attacking quality.

They have a lot of different threats – the wingers are going well, Ben Currie is going great in the back-row, and Chris Hill is up there with the best front-rowers I’ve seen.

He gets them rolling with his strong carries and quick play-the-balls, and then players like Matty Russell and Daryl Clark get on the back of that, and it becomes a spiral effect.

I’m gutted I can’t be involved yet, I’m still waiting for my rib injury to settle down – it’s symptom-led, 
so it’s hard to put a time-frame on when I may be back.

But I’ll be cheering the lads on and hoping we get the two points which send us clear at the top of the league.

Tonight’s game is Shaun Wane’s 150th as head coach and I’ve got a lot to thank him for.

He’s coached me since I was 15, and even though it was Michael Maguire who gave me my shot in the first-team in 2010, I’ve no doubts it was Waney was who pushing my case.

Everyone can see Shaun is passionate for Wigan and he is great at getting the lads fired up.

But he’s a well-rounded coach – his knowledge of the game, and attention to detail, is fantastic, and not many people see that side of him.

He’s a perfectionist, and he’s constantly scrutinising details to make players better.

It says a lot about his work ethic, and his abilities, that most players improve with him as their coach.

He is, of course, also a good mate.

It can’t be easy to strike that balance between being a friend and a boss – I can have a drink with him on a Friday night, and then be in his ‘awkward room’ on Monday morning being told I need to do something better! – but he does it 
well.

He won’t want a fuss made about him today, he will be all about the team and all about the game, but it’s a great milestone for him.

Liam Farrell was 
talking to Phil Wilkinson