Sharpe: Double-header shows clubs have a great relationship

David Sharpe watches Latics' match at Walsall
David Sharpe watches Latics' match at Walsall

David Sharpe says there is ‘a great relationship’ between Wigan Athletic and Wigan Warriors after the announcement of an Easter Monday double-header at the DW.

Latics will face Rochdale at 1.30pm, with the Warriors entertaining Hull KR at 8.15pm – the first time the stadium will have staged two games on the same day in its 17-year history.

Warriors have already moved this week’s visit of Salford to tomorrow night to give the surface more time to recover before Latics’ clash with Bury on Saturday.

And Latics chairman Sharpe has reiterated the words of his Warriors counterpart Ian Lenagan that relations between the two clubs have never been better.

“Ian and I have a great relationship – and it’s something we need,” he told the Evening Post.

“The Warriors also play at the stadium, and we obviously need to work together.

“I used to go to the games when my grandad owned the club, but I’m much busier nowadays.

“I wish them well, though, and I hope they have a good year and get to the Grand Final again.

“There’s probably lots of things we could learn from the Warriors, and vice versa.”

The playing surface at the DW Stadium was recently relaid – at considerable cost – after unprecedented rain during the winter caused it to cut up badly.

It was, in Sharpe’s words, a ‘no-brainer’ of a decision.

“To have the best quality pitch possible is key – not just for us, with the way we play, but also for the Warriors,” he added.

“The rugby commentators were loving the state of the pitch at the weekend, praising the work of both clubs, and we need a good pitch here.”

Despite Warriors chief Lenagan previously asking the RFL to avoid a fixture clash, both clubs found themselves at home on Easter Monday, and an ‘intensive feasibility study’ was undertaken to find a solution.