Freeze-y does it for Warriors

THE Wigan players will be given the cold shoulder by Michael Maguire this week as they continue their preparations for the defence of their Super League title.

Maguire and his squad this morning departed for a three-day training camp up in Scotland, the area hit hardest by the recent dip in temperatures.

And while some rival clubs will be jetting out for some warm-weather training ahead of Super League XVI, Maguire is happy to let his guys sweat in out in sub-zero climes.

He told the Evening Post: “The camp will be all about bonding with the boys and enjoying each other’s company, as well as getting a little bit of hard work done.

“They have a bit of an idea about what’s in store, but we’ll try and mix it up a little bit and keep them on their toes.

“I’ve heard it’s been minus 18 degrees up there recently, which is pretty cold, and certainly a bit of culture shock for the three lads from Melbourne.

“But they’ve all got used to the cold since they’ve been here so there’ll be no problems.

“It’s a slight change from last year’s preparations, but we’re hoping to get as much out of it as a squad.”

Wigan’s training camp north of the border, the whereabouts of which is being kept a secret, will form a vital part of Wigan’s preparations for the new season as well as the World Club Challenge with St George-Illawarra at the end of February.

But the Warriors coach insists no-one at the DW is losing any sleep over the glamour clash with the Dragons just yet.

“We’re all focussing on our off-season friendlies and then the big kick-off in Cardiff at Millennium Magic,” Maguire added. No one’s thinking about the World Club Challenge just yet. There’s way too much going on before then.

“The boys are far more worried about what’s going to be happening in the training camp this week than worrying about the Dragons!

“We’ll just concentrate on the here and now, and let the rest take care of itself.”

l Former Warriors hooker Mark Riddell has passed a medical and is expected to sign for NRL outfit Wests Tigers this week.

l The England Academy completed a 2-0 series victory over the Australian Schoolboys with a comprehensive 34-22 win at Leigh Sports Village over the weekend.

Despite falling behind early on, England hit back with tries from Wigan pair Sam Powell and Matthew Russell, as well as Jordan Thompson and Ben Evans, to establish a commanding interval advantage.

Thompson scored his second of the game early in the second half before the Aussies hit back with a couple of tries of their own. But Evans clinched victory with his second try 15 minutes from time to complete a first series win over the Kangaroos for six years.