Shaun Wane is using his Easter blueprint as he prepares for tomorrow’s derby firecracker at St Helens.
The Warriors boss has a terrific record over the congested Easter fixtures – when there are two games over the weekend – winning 11 of his 12 matches in charge.
This year, Super League chiefs introduced another double-header weekend, withWarriors’ trip to Saints tomorrow night being followed by a home clash with Wakefield on Bank Holiday Monday.
And Wane hopes his successful formula will help secure the maximum four points to help strengthen their top-four claims.
He said: “We’re treating it exactly the same as at Easter.
“We’re being smart with the players, while the coaching staff are doing a lot of video.
“We couldn’t do much with them this week anyway because of the quick turnaround.
“It’s been a lights skills session and then team-run, but St Helens are in exactly the same boat.”
His preparations included crown green bowling yesterday afternoon. “It’s the only game I can play with my knee,” smiled Wane, who took his weekly press conference at Wigan bowling club.
The need to play two games over this weekend was to accommodate the aborted England training camp in Dubai.
Some have been critical of the decision, but Wane is a fan of the packed schedule.
“I can’t see a negative in it,” he said. “It doesn’t bother me, I can’t wait. We’ve a strong team and if we get injuries against Saints, then players like Romain (Navarrete) and Joe Bretherton come in.
“It doesn’t bother me in the slightest. It tests the players’ toughness, it tests our coaching ability. I love it.”
Wane confirmed George Williams will take the goal-kicking duties as Sam Powell is returning from a bruised ankle injury.
Thomas Leuluai will also return to the side after a lay-off with a broken jaw.
Saints, who beat Hull FC 45-0 under new coach Justin Holbrook on Saturday, are now three-points and one position behind sixth-placed Wigan.
But Wane said: “First, second, bottom... it doesn’t matter where we are in the table, this is Wigan-Saints. It’s game on. This is the game. It means everything to us.
“They’re very confident, they’re flying with a new coach and I think it’s a good time to get them.
“We’ll go into it confident and looking to start really well. Hopefully they’re still patting themselves on the back after a great win against Hull.”