Wigan Warriors: Oliver Partington says he felt like a nervous parent watching the Challenge Cup final

Oliver Partington says he lived every moment of the Challenge Cup final despite not playing in the game.

The prop returned to action last week for Wigan Warriors’ victory against Castleford Tigers, after missing the match at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium.

Even though he had to watch on from the sidelines, Partington states he still felt very much a part of the trophy success.

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He said: “It was tough to miss out on the final, but it’s about what’s best for the team and I’m all for that.

Oliver Partington celebrates with John Bateman after the Challenge Cup final

“I could’ve just sat there and sulked, but because I felt so involved all the way through, I feel like I won it as well. Being part of the team can’t be taken lightly.

“I was buzzing for the lads and living the game as they played it, feeling every contact. It was a tough watch, and very emotional. I was happy that they got the win.

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“It’s genuinely more nerve-wracking watching than it is playing, I felt like a parent.

“I was a Wigan fan before I played for them, so it’s always good for the town to bring the trophy back where it belongs.

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“It was good to see all the kids at the homecoming at Robin Park, because they’re the next generation. I think they ran off with the trophy at one point, and we didn’t get it back for a while.

“Everyone still has a smile on their face, but we know we’ve got a lot of work to do.

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“We all have one goal, and that is to win. Everyone feels part of this team.

“I want to play my part, and if I keep improving each week then I’m putting my hand up to do that.”

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Partington is expecting a stern test from Salford Red Devils on Friday night at the AJ Bell Stadium.

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“They’ve got a very good backline,” he added.

“They are proving to be a tough team. It’s always a challenge when we go there because they’ve got some big bodies who will try to match us.

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“Every time they play us they bring their best, and that should definitely be the case this week. We have to be on it from the start.

“It’s fairly local, and a couple of Wigan lads are there now, so it’s a big one for everyone involved.

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“They will want to prove a point so we will have to be at our best for a full 80 minutes.”