Clubb has sights set on Wolves

Tony Clubb (centre) with Anthony Gelling and Matty Smith
Tony Clubb (centre) with Anthony Gelling and Matty Smith
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IN-FORM Tony Clubb is hoping to draw on home comforts when Wigan tackle Warrington in Thursday’s showdown.

The Warriors have won all five of their Super League games at the DW Stadium this season.

I don’t know what it is, we don’t do anything differently – I think it’s more of a coincidence than anything – but let’s hope it carries on this week

Tony Clubb

Their only loss was in golden-point to Brisbane Broncos – who are now top of the NRL ladder – in the World Club Series.

Clubb said: “We never want to lose any games, but we do speak about what it means to play in front of our home fans.

“I don’t know what it is, we don’t do anything differently – I think it’s more of a coincidence than anything – but let’s hope it carries on this week.”

Wigan’s golden run at home stretches even further, having won 18 of their last 19 Super League games at the venue – including two epic encounters with the Wolves at the back-end of last season.

Tony Smith’s outfit were on a four-game losing run until last weekend, when they sharpened their attack with an 80-0 thrashing of sorry Wakefield to move to within a point of the third-placed Warriors.

Prop Clubb has been widely praised for his strong contribution so far this season, and the ex-London Broncos captain admits he has been happy with his form.

“I’m going alright,” said the 27-year-old.

“I feel more comfortable now than I’ve been here a year, I know my role a lot of better, and I’m enjoying playing in the front row.

“I’m just trying to keep my place, week in, week out, because we’ve got a few coming back now.

“People notice other teams which are missing players but don’t seem to see the players we’ve had out.”

Ben Flower is expected to return from his six-month suspension on Thursday, but Sean O’Loughlin may be given an extra week to fully recover from his knee operation.

Elsewhere, competition for places will be amped up by the likely return of Josh Charnley (injury) and John Bateman (suspension). Stand-off Sam Powell is also in the frame.

Wane will name his 19-man squad today, and it will be interesting to see whether England flyer Charnley, in particular, comes straight back into contention. Dom Manfredi and Joe Burgess have been in fine form, and scored five tries between them in Sunday’s 34-0 win against Catalans.

Wane has been delighted with Clubb’s contribution so far.

“He’s done a lot of work, he’s concentrated, he’s trusted our system, and I can’t tell you how pleased I am because he’s a really top fella,” he said.

“I’m desperate to win something for him, because I remember when we signed him, we had a conversation in Manchester, and he’s so hungry to win something.”

Wigan paid a transfer fee to recruit Clubb, along with Dan Sarginson, ahead of last season.

“I could always see something in him, he’s a big lump, he’s hard to handle, and I always thought he could progress here,” added the coach. “I can tell there’s still lots of improvement in him.”