Wigan Warriors: John Bateman says games don't get much bigger than clashes against St Helens

John Bateman says he relishes playing in the tough games for Wigan Warriors.

Matty Peet’s side welcome St Helens to the DW Stadium for a derby clash on Friday night.

Bateman states it didn’t take long for him to realise the size of the rivalry when he first arrived at the club.

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He said: “It should be a good one. These are the games you look for on the calendar because you want to be playing in the big games, and you can’t get much bigger than Friday’s.

John Bateman is looking forward to taking on St Helens at the DW StadiumJohn Bateman is looking forward to taking on St Helens at the DW Stadium
John Bateman is looking forward to taking on St Helens at the DW Stadium

“Since I first got here it got pumped into me how important it was, and then playing in it makes you realise even more.

“It’s up there in rugby league’s great rivalries. It’s alright putting 50 points on a team, but as a professional you like the tougher games and getting into it.

“The League Leaders shield is out of our hands now, but we will be turning up and trying to get the win anyway.

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“I’m expecting us to play our strongest side. Every team wants to get some good combinations together, so Saints will be doing the same as us.

“You are looking to get some momentum going heading into the final stages of the season, to then hopefully get into a Grand Final, because that’s what it’s all about.

“We’re playing some decent rugby, and it’s alright enjoying it, but it’s all about winning.

“We’ve been doing well at home and want to keep that up. It’ll be massive if we can get as many people as possible down to the DW Stadium.”

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Bateman says Wigan are fully focused on the game against St Helens, and are currently not looking beyond that fixture despite the busy schedule that awaits.

“You’ve got to take it one game at a time,” he added.

“We’ve got one of the biggest matches of the season coming up, so we’ll just focus on Hull KR when it comes to that one.

“It’s exciting (having so many games) because you don’t have to train much, but for the body it’s pretty tough.

“We’ve had two short turnarounds this year, so it does take it out of you.”