LIAM Farrell jetted out to South Africa yesterday still on cloud nine – and hailing Wigan’s Grand Final triumph “as one of the best comebacks ever”.
The Warriors’ six England players left Manchester Airport to link up with the rest of the World Cup squad at a training base.
Farrell and his team-mates spent the previous day celebrating their Super League title achievement, which they secured through a rousing fightback from 16-2 down to beat Warrington 30-16.
“It’s still surreal, it’s not sunk in,” said Farrell. “At 16-2 down I was thinking it’s going to be hard. But we turned up well and that gave us a chance. “We came away with an outstanding win. To go 28-0 against Warrington – it’s got to be up there with the best comebacks ever. It’ll take some beating as well. To do it to win the double makes it even more special.
“It was a fitting end for a fitting year, and the best going away present we could have given the lads who are leaving.”
The victory followed their Challenge Cup triumph in August, while Wigan has enjoyed a wave of sporting success, including Latics’ FA Cup victory.
“It puts us on the map even more, as a sporting town we’re second to none,” added Wiganer Farrell. Sean O’Loughlin, Sam Tomkins, Josh Charnley, Lee Mossop and Mike McIlorum have also flown to South Africa, as well as coaching staff members Paul Deacon and Mark Bitcon.
Meanwhile, further talks are planned for later this week to discuss taking the World Club Challenge to Australia.
As the Evening Post reported yesterday, Wigan favour playing the annual showdown Down Under in a game which would mark two decades since the club’s famous victory in Brisbane.
They want NRL champions Sydney Roosters to stage the fixture in February if it is commercially viable.
WARRINGTON forward Ben Westwood is likely to miss England’s friendly against Italy on October 19 after being charged with punching Blake Green in the second minute of the Grand Final.
Green was left with a nasty facial injury by the strike, which went unpunished at the time. Westwood will appear before an RFL Disciplinary Tribunal via an internet link today from the England camp in South Africa.
Harrison Hansen won’t face action for a tackle which injured Stefan Ratchford.