Player nerves? George Williams says it’s worse for fans

George Williams says dealing with nerves is easier for players than fans cheering them on
George Williams says dealing with nerves is easier for players than fans cheering them on

George Williams knows fans face a nerve-shredding few days as the battle for top-four spots intensifies – and revealed it’s easier to cope with as a player.

The academy-product knows the next two rounds will be tense for supporters as they wait to discover if the Warriors will secure a play-offs semi-final place.

When you’re in the circle, I’m still as excited, but I’m more relaxed about it than when I was a fan

George Williams

A lifelong Wigan fan, he has been put through the wringer over the years as he cheered his heroes on in must-win encounters.

But he is far more relaxed about the uncertainly as they prepare for Sunday’s crunch home clash with table-toppers Castleford.

Williams said: “It’s easier when you’re a player than before. You can do something about it.

“When you’re in the circle, I’m still as excited, but I’m more relaxed about it than when I was a fan.

“When you’re looking in, you don’t know how it is, you’re guessing about the teams, it can be quite nervous.

“But being involved, I know how the week’s gone, how we’ve trained - I’m more at ease now, because I’ve got a chance of controlling the outcome.”

St Helens, in sixth, can keep involved in the race if they beat Huddersfield tonight - Hull FC and Wakefield clashed last night.

Williams hasn’t given much thought to the various permutations, saying: “We’ve just got to keep winning.

“We know if we win our next two we’re in the top-four without needing to rely on anyone else. And if we win these next two, we’ll be full of confidence going into the semis.”

Castleford are the only Super League team Wigan have failed to beat this year after home and away wins for the Tigers in April.

Daryl Powell’s outfit have since gone on to clinch the league leaders’ shield.

And Williams expects the visitors to give their defence a thorough test in their last home match of the year.

“They’ve been the best attacking side by far, but we’ve been defending well recently,” added the 22-year-old.

“They score points everywhere, we’ve got a challenge on our hands, but our D has been good for the last few weeks.”

Tigers will be without influential halfback Luke Gale - a likely rival of Williams’ for an England halfback shirt - after emergency appendix surgery.

“Galey’s a good bloke, I was gutted for him and I sent him a message to wish him all the best,” added Williams.

“His well-being is more important than sport.

“He replied and said, ‘Hopefully we’re both on the plane together’, and fingers crossed we are.”