DESPITE his passion for St Helens, boss Keiron Cunningham admits to being an admirer of Warriors coach Shaun Wane.
The Saints coach and former Knowsley Road hooker is friends with Wane, and has sought advice from his rival during his first season as a head coach.
Me and Shaun are good friends. I look up to him and ask him for adviceKeiron Cunningham
“Me and Shaun are good friends. I look up to him and ask him for advice,” said Cunningham.
“He’s a great coach – he’s a Wigan lad and the club means everything to him. That’s why he’s so passionate about it.
“He would do everything for that club and Ian Lenagan is lucky to have him as head coach.” But Friday’s clash at the DW Stadium will not lose any spice due to coaches keeping their enemies close.
In fact, Cunningham thinks the heat will be just as intense as it always has been.
“Being a St Helens lad the Wigan game was always the one I would look out for. It means a lot to both towns,” he said. “I think Wigan have been good so far this year – they’re not far off. They’ve played the same way for a few years and had success with it but now he’s evolving it, which is good coaching.”
Cunningham is sweating over several injury concerns.
England hooker James Roby will need to pass a concussion test, following a head knock in the 24-22 loss at Hull KR. Atelea Vea’s chances are rated “touch and go”, Joe Greenwood is doubtful and stand-off Travis Burns didn’t train earleir this week.
Australian No.7 Luke Walsh won’t be fit in time while Jonny Lomax is out long term.