Burgess set for Saints derby debut

Joe Burgess
Joe Burgess

JOE Burgess is smacking his lips in anticipation at the prospect of playing in his first Good Friday derby.

The winger - one of the real success stories of 2014 - is likely to retain his place on the left wing as Wigan aim to become the first team to beat St Helens this season.

Burgess, 19, has watched many of these fierce derby encounters as a fan, and this will be the first time he has experienced the cauldron atmosphere in the heat of the action.

“Hopefully I get picked because I’m really looking forward to it,” said the academy-product.

“I’ve watched all of these Good Friday games - I’ve been to most of them as a fan - so it’d be good to be involved and play in one.”

Nathan Brown’s pace-setters will head into the encounter as favourites after nine straight wins in both competitions.

Wigan are on a good streak themselves, having won their last five matches, but their patchy display against London three days ago has left Burgess in no doubt that they will need to improve if they are to claim the two points at Langtree Park (kick-off 12.15pm).

“We didn’t help ourselves, especially in the first-half,” Burgess said of the 36-14 win against the win-less Broncos.

“We got some strong words at half-time. It was disappointing, considering we should be playing for a shirt for next week.

“But a derby is a different kind of game, we know we’ll need to play well. Saints are in good form, it’s the best start they’ve made for a few years, and that gives us that extra incentive to play well and get the win.”

Another young winger, Dom Manfredi, is likely to take the other wing spot.