Sam hopes for end to World Club jinx

Sam Powell in action against Catalans
Sam Powell in action against Catalans

SAM Powell is hoping to end his own World Club jinx this weekend.

The 23-year-old missed last year’s showdown with Brisbane through suspension – just 12 months after an injury ruled him out of the clash against Sydney Roosters.

He will discover later today whether he is in Shaun Wane’s provisional 19-man squad to face the Broncos on Saturday night.

Recalling his own misfortune against NRL opposition, the halfback/hooker said: “When we went to Sydney in 2014 for the World Club Challenge, I was due to play.

“But during training, I suffered a freak injury – I stood on a ball and tore the tendon off my foot – and it ruled me out.

“Then last year, the week before the Brisbane game, we played Huddersfield and I got banned for a chicken wing tackle.

“I didn’t realise it was bad – I certainly didn’t intend to do it.

“It wasn’t until afterwards that I thought it was a bit dodgy and unfortunately it meant I got a one-game ban, and missed the game.

“It was gutting, but hopefully I’ll get picked this year.”

Saturday’s game is the second match in the World Club Series, which gets underway tomorrow night when St Helens host Sydney Roosters.

It concludes on Sunday evening when respective champions Leeds and North Queensland Cowboys battle it out for the World Club Challenge silverware.

And with the NRL clubs registering a 3-0 whitewash in last year’s inaugural series, Powell is hoping for a different outcome this time out – even if it means putting club loyalties aside.

He added: “It is hard being a Wigan lad, cheering for St Helens, but you do want them to do well – you don’t want everyone saying that the Super League and NRL are worlds apart.

“We get enough bad publicity as it is, so we want to make every aspect of our Super League better. ”

Wigan held an open training session yesterday with Australian referee Matt Cecchin, who is the official on Saturday, taking charge of an opposed session.

“We got a few things clear of what is expected and what we expect, to try and make it a penalty-free game,” said Wane.

He was disappointed last year’s golden-point contest was decided by a refereeing decision.

“I’m not sure if the RFL liked us doing it but we asked and Matt was keen to do it – credit to him,” added Wane.

“We want to be going toe-to-toe with Brisbane for 80 minutes, and the less involvement he has the better.”