Wolf Jack aiming to get one over Wane and Wigan

Jack Hughes
Jack Hughes

It goes without saying every single Warriors player will be affected by the departure of Shaun Wane following Saturday’s Grand Final.

But Warrington forward Jack Hughes will also be sorry to see the back of a man who brought him through the ranks at Wigan as a teenager.

Hughes has mixed memories of Warriors-Wolves clashes at Old Trafford – he was a member of Wigan’s double-winning squad of 2013, as well as tasting defeat with Warrington in the 2016 rematch.

And although he’ll be going all-out to send Wane out on a disappointing note, Hughes says he owes his former mentor a great deal.

“I’m sad to see Waney go, he’s a big character in our sport,” said Hughes.

“I’m grateful to him, he gave me my chance and I owe him a lot.

“He wears his heart on his sleeve and people see that on game-day, but he’s also got another side and he cares about his players.”

Hughes’ first taste of Old Trafford saw him help Wigan to a remarkable comefrom-behind victory five years ago, after the cherry and whites had trailed 16-2.

“They’re good memories from 2013,” he recognised.

“Doing the double, some don’t ever get to play at Old Trafford and to win two trophies that year was very special.

“But now I want to write some history with Warrington.

“My family are all Warrington fans, they go where I go – they were Huddersfield fans for a while!”

Warrington couldn’t be going into the game in better spirits, having bested League Leaders’ Shield winners St Helens last weekend in a thriller at the Totally Wicked Stadium.

And Hughes credits coach Steve Price for taking him and his team-mates on to another level since taking charge.

“I’m happy with my own form, Pricey has brought some confidence and belief that we slowly lost last season,” he revealed.

“He was a breath of fresh air at the right time and has us firing on all cylinders.

“The character we showed last week against Saints was massive.

“We know we have some skilful players but we want to show character – and that’s what pulled us through last week.”

Not that he’s expected anything but an epic contest against his hometown club.

“Wigan are Wigan,” he acknowledged. “Even when they’re busted you know what you’ll get.

“They come good at the right time of the year and we know we’ll have to be at our best.”