Wane hopes history can inspire his stars

Henderson Gill is mobbed by young fans after the Wigan v Manly World Club Challenge - picture by Frank Orrell
Henderson Gill is mobbed by young fans after the Wigan v Manly World Club Challenge - picture by Frank Orrell

Shaun Wane challenged his players to make memories to last a lifetime - by leaving nothing to chance in their “brutal” World Club Challenge.

Three decades have passed since Wane was in the Wigan side which beat Manly 8-2 in an epic encounter.

Shaun Wane will unite with the '87 legends today

Shaun Wane will unite with the '87 legends today

Many of his former team-mates, including Nicky Kiss, Henderson Gill and Joe Lydon, will be presenting shirts to the players after their final training session today.

And Wane hopes his current players can take inspiration ahead of tomorrow’s showdown with Cronulla Sharks.

He said: “I don’t speak to my players about the ‘87 game, but I will this time, because I want them to realise just how special it is when you win something like that.

“When you play in a brutal game like that, you have to trust your team-mates, and they repay you and you repay them, and it creates something special.

‘I want to show what Super League is about’

“I’ve not seen Joe or Nicky for a while, but that bond never changes. And that’s what I want for my players - I want them to experience that, so they have those feelings for the rest of their lives.

“A lot has changed in the game, but the same things get you the win; if you want it more than them, and you’ve got a decent game-plan, you’ll give yourselves a good chance.”

Wane is taking charge of his second World Club Challenge, following the 36-14 loss to Sydney Roosters three years ago when he felt they “under-sold” themselves.

With the expanded World Club Series matches also falling the NRL’s away since then - in addition to the main contests - Wane is aware they are carrying the flag for Super League.

“There’s a huge amount of responsibility,” he said. “I want to show what Super League is about, and show the NRL we have a good competition. The pressure is on but we relish that.”

While Cronulla coach Shane Flanagan admitted he “didn’t have time” to watch Super League, Wane is a keen observer of the NRL.

“I watch a lot of NRL, a lot, because I want to improve as a coach,” he said. “I’ve watched every game of Cronulla’s last year.

“They’re big, athletic side, very-well coached, they have two halves who like to play. I’m not so sure which way they will go at 9, but they’ll be a threat.

“We’re up against a well-drilled good team, but we’re a good team. It’s going to be full-on, brutal, they’ll be aggressive with us and we will by them.”

John Bateman returns to the side, and Wane will decide after captain’s run today which forward drops out from the side which beat Salford 26-16.

Training has been adapted to international rules this week.

“The big one is there is no free-play (from an opponent’s error), I explained it to the players,” said Wane.

Officials say more than 20,000 tickets have been sold.

Watch a video interview with Wane at www.facebook.com/wigan.today