Wigan Warriors' Oliver Gildart on 'ridiculous' Super League fixtures

Oliver Gildart has criticised the summer fixture congestion – labelling it “a bit ridiculous”.

Monday, 5th July 2021, 9:05 am
Updated Monday, 5th July 2021, 9:06 am
Oliver Gildart facing St Helens last night
Oliver Gildart facing St Helens last night

Wigan last night faced St Helens in the first derby of the year, just four days after a bruising encounter with Warrington.

And they have two further occasions where they have Wednesday Super League matches squeezed in between weekend games.

It is understood the decision by the Super League clubs was made to try and generate cash – with limited crowds back – following the financial whack from the pandemic.

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But Gildart, speaking ahead of the 24-6 loss to Saints, believes player welfare should have been considered.

He said: “I think the season can be looked at a lot better, regarding games.

“I think it’s poorly organised. We got rid of the Easter weekend (two games over one weekend) and added three more – it’s a bit ridiculous.

“We’re just here to play rugby, if we’ve 13 who are fit to start the game, it’s all that matters.

“But I think it could be set up a lot better, to look after the players a lot more.”

Wigan are due to host Huddersfield on Sunday (3pm) though the Giants won't play Castleford tomorrow night as scheduled due to Covid-19 cases.

Huddersfield say they are awaiting the result from a second player who is displaying symptoms and track and trace regulations have taken at least four more players from their squad.

They say nearly 20 players from Ian Watson's Super League squad will be unavailable on Tuesday for varying reasons. It is not yet known whether Castleford will be awarded a 24-0 victory or whether the game will be re-arranged - a match can be postponed, rather than forfeited, if a club has seven players unavailable due to Covid reasons.

Giants managing director Richard Thewlis said: "Whilst we recognise that technically it is possible that we fall short of the Covid threshold for postponements (we are awaiting some results still) we do wish to re-arrange this game and would hope that the RFL and Castleford will agree for us to do so."

The contest is the 10th Super League game to be called off so far this year because of coronavirus.