Foot on the Gas

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MARK Gasnier admits he is stepping into the unknown this weekend – as the player challenged with the task of keeping him quiet gets the go-ahead to play.

Michael Maguire is confident Martin Gleeson will be fit to play after suffering a hamstring strain against Bradford which forced him to leave the action mid-way through the opening half.

And that is a huge boost for the Warriors, given the player he is likely to face is widely regarded as one of Australia’s premier centres.

Gasnier, a former Kangaroos international, trained with his St George-Illawarra team-mates at Wasps RU yesterday.

And while he is gearing up for a tough tussle with Wigan, he confesses to knowing very little about the players he will be facing.

He said: “I don’t know much about the Wigan team and their players, but I’ve sure we’ll get into that later in the week.

“I just know they are a quality side, you have to be to win the competition and Super League is getting stronger as well.”

Maguire will look to Gleeson’s excellent one-on-one defence to help put the shackles on Gasnier.

“Glees should be fine, I’m pretty sure he’ll be okay to play,” the coach said.

Maguire will wait until later this week to confirm his team but many would expect him to name the same 17-man squad beat beat Bradford 44-10 last Sunday.

Prop Stuart Fielden and winger Amos Roberts both came through their first Super League game of the campaign unscathed and are set to retain their places in the team.

“We didn’t treat the Bradford match as a warm-up game – if anything it was more like a semi-final because every player out there is aiming to earn his spot for next week,” said Fielden yesterday at the club’s World Club Challenge media launch.

“We don’t know who is going to be playing so you have to play to your absolute best.

“For me, it allowed me to blow out a few cobwebs.”

The Dragons squad only arrived in England on Saturday and chose not to have a warm-up match on these shores. But Gasnier is sure that won’t be a problem.

“We’re all feeling pretty good,” he said yesterday.

“If you asked a few of the guys yesterday afternoon they might have been feeling a little bit tired but that was totally understandable and expected.

“I think we needed the hit out today and we’re feeling pretty good.”