WIGAN icon Andy Farrell is “excited” at the prospect of playing at the DW Stadium again this Friday night - almost a decade since his last match on the pitch where he helped cast his legacy.
The former Warriors captain was today confirmed in the Joining Jack legends team to play ahead of the Warriors’ showdown against Leeds.
He said: “It’s been a long time coming hasn’t it?
“It’s all a bit surreal right now and I don’t think it will feel real until I’m stood waiting to run out onto the pitch.
“To get this chance to play at the DW Stadium again in front of the Wigan fans is just fantastic.
“I cannot put into words how excited I am.
“I couldn’t turn this down and the team is looking strong, we definitely mean business and this will be no friendly.”
Farrell’s last home game for Wigan was in a play-off game against Wakesfield on October 1, 2004, before he switched to rugby union.
He is now a member of the England RU coaching team, and his presence in the charity side will only heighten enthusiasm for an action-packed Big One 5 event.
The Joining Jack line-up will face a select side of former professionals in a full-contact game.
Denis Betts and Steve Hampson have also confirmed their places, alongside former crowd-pleasers such as Kris Radlinski, Henry Paul, Jason Robinson and Gary Connolly – with Shaun Edwards acting as coach.
Their game kicks-off at 6.55pm, with Starsailor’s James Walsh singing before Shaun Wane’s men take on Leeds , The main event on Friday has taken on a new complexion following Wigan’s shock 24-10 loss at Widnes three days ago.
Castleford’s win against Bradford yesterday saw Wane’s outfit drop a place on the ladder, into third – but Leeds, Huddersfield and Warrington remain behind them after failing to win at the weekend.
The Warriors have won just one of their last four games, and have two home games –against the Rhinos and the Wolves – before the play-offs begin.
With competition for places so tight, they will drop out of the top-four if they lose their next two matches – and be left trying to navigate a trickier play-off route.
But Wane is confident they can bounce back, and their chances are boosted by
the likely return of Matty Bowen, Joel Tomkins and Joe Burgess, who missed the trip to Widnes.