MICHAEL Maguire is banking on the Gaz factor bringing out the best of his forwards tonight!
The coach says the battle for domination between the two packs will be crucial in deciding who will win the mouth-watering derby against St Helens (kick-off 8pm).
And if the two points and bragging rights weren’t enough incentive for the Warriors forwards, Maguire reckons the pending return of Gareth Hock should ratchet up the performance levels another notch.
Hock is back in the frame next week after a two-year doping ban and, if as expected he is thrust straight back into the spotlight, one of the current stars will have to miss out.
Maguire prides himself on picking his teams on form, making the televised blockbuster at Widnes’ Stobart Stadium this evening the last chance for players to tighten their grip on first-team spots.
He said: “It’s going to be a great headache next week when Gaz is back.
“All the players know he’s doing everything he can, he’s doing great at training and he’s really busting to play a game again.
“He’s been training at both prop and second-row, he’s very capable of both, so that’s going to really give some good competition.”
Saints haven’t lost since being beaten 28-24 by Wigan on Good Friday.
Maguire will bring Sam Tomkins back into the frame, and he says the full-back is over the booing which marred his stand-out display for England against the Exiles last Friday night.
“He’s okay, it’s all part of the growing of a rugby league player,” he said. “He’s a great player and performing the way he does, week in, week out, you’re going to get the rival spectators having their opinions but I’m glad he’s in our team.”
Referee is Thierry Alibert.