Wane warns about the ‘Wigan factor’ in Vikings ranks

Greg Burke left Wigan last month to join Widnes
Greg Burke left Wigan last month to join Widnes

Shaun Wane is adamant Widnes will arrive at the DW Stadium with all guns blazing tomorrow night.

And he believes the “Wigan factor” will provide an extra incentive for them to try and claim a scalp.

The Vikings have no chance of making the top-four play-offs spots before the season ends.

Bookmakers are predicting a comfortable home victory as the Warriors chase two points which would draw them level with leaders Hull FC.

But Wane has dismissed the notion Widnes have “nothing to play for”.

He said: “I know it’s an issue for everyone else but that’s not how I see it, and it’s certainly not how my players will be looking at it. Professional players have a lot of pride, they’ll want to give a good account of themselves whether they have a chance of the top-four or not.

“And when you think of how many ex-Wigan players involved there, all of them will want to come here and play well against us.”

Widnes are coached by Wigan legend Denis Betts, who oversaw an 18-12 victory at the DW Stadium in March, during their golden start to the campaign.

They finished the regular campaign in the top-eight, before the split for the Super 8s phase, but have no chance of clawing into the mix for the Grand Final battle.

Betts yesterday named his 19-man squad which included five ex-Warriors – Kevin Brown, Gil Dudson, Stefan Marsh, Greg Burke and Joe Mellor.

Burke only moved to the Vikings last month, in part to secure his long-term future and to also free up space under the salary cap for Wigan to recruit Frank-Paul Nuuausala.

Betts has also included Connor Farrell, who is on a season-long loan from Wigan and is poised to face his brother Liam for the first time.

“The ex-Wigan lads always raise their game against us,” said Wane.

“They’ll have family and friends in the stands, so anyone who thinks they won’t be fired up is wrong.

“Denis was a great player at this club and he’ll want them to come here and play.”