Wane: This will be a real derby
Shaun Wane expects tomorrow's showdown at the Sports Village to be a full-blooded derby.
Leigh, bottom of the ladder, haven’t beaten Wigan in a competitive match since 1984.
Wigan beat the Centurions 20-0 at the DW Stadium but are braced for a cauldron atmosphere at the Sports Village.
And with the Warriors currently on a run of six Super League matches without a win – and six points from the top-four – the stakes have been raised.
Wane played for the club when these derbies were fiercely-contested affairs, and expects the rivalry to dial up the intensity in front of the Sky Sports cameras.
He said: “It doesn’t matter where they are in the table or where we are, this is a Leigh-Wigan game.
“No question this is going to have the derby spirit, without a doubt. We won the game at the DW but that game will have no bearing on this one. We’re preparing for a really tough one.
“I don’t like losing games, we know what we need to do, and we just need to win.”
Although there is a rivalry between the supporters, Wane has “a lot of respect” for his counterparts.
“I’m proud of our relationship with them,” he said. “I know their coaches and (club owner) Derek Beaumont.
“They invited me to their game against Huddersfield and looked after my wife and I fantastically well.
“They are good rugby league people - I was happy when they got promoted, and they were happy we won the World Club Challenge.”
Wane also knows many of Leigh’s players well, having coached Ryan Hampshire, Sam Hopkins and Harrison Hansen.
Ex-Warrior Danny Tickle is also in their squad but there is no place for Gareth Hock or Micky Higham, who join big-guns Willie Tonga, Atelea Vea and Ben Crooks on the sidelines.
Wigan’s 19-man squad: Burgess, Davies, Fell, Field, Forsyth, Ganson, Gildart, Isa, Leuluai, Marshall, Mcilorum, Navarrete, Nuuausala, Sutton, Tautai, Tierney, Tomkins, Wells, Williams.
Leigh’s 19-man squad: Acton, Brown, Burr, Dawson, Drinkwater, Fleming, Hampshire, Hansen, Hood, Hopkins, McNally, Maria, Naughton, Paterson, Pelissier, Reynolds, Stewart, Tickle, Weston.