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Gildart talks nerves, his new role and the key to success for Wigan Warriors against Castleford

Oliver Gildart and George Williams
Oliver Gildart and George Williams

Oliver Gildart believes nailing the basics will go a long way towards deciding tonight’s semi-final against Castleford.

Wigan’s hopes of reaching a fifth Grand Final under Shaun Wane’s watch hinge on overpowering the Tigers at the DW Stadium.

And Gildart said: “For a big game like this, it’s back to basics.

“It sounds silly to say that, but you won’t get many chances on the edge. If you get one or two, you’ve got to take them.

“You strip it right back down and it comes down to the one per centers.”

Gildart, 22, debuted as a teenager during the Super-8s in 2015 – incredibly, his seventh game in Shaun Wane’s side was the Grand Final!

He returned to Old Trafford the following year and has since played in a World Club Challenge and Challenge Cup.

And he admits he is more nervous now than during his breakthrough campaign.

“It’s awful, I keep texting George (Williams) saying, ‘I’m getting butterflies!’,” he smiled. “It can all come to an end or the dream can carry on, but that’s why we’re in it, that’s sport.

“When I first got into the team I didn’t know what to expect and I just took it in my stride. Now I know what it takes to get there so I do get more nervous.”

Gildart, this week called into the England Knights squad for the tour of Papua New Guinea, has switched to right centre to allow Dan Sarginson to play in his preferred role on the left.

“I’m enjoying playing alongside Dom Manfredi,” added Gildart. “Realistically I’d prefer the left but it’s good for me to play right, another string on my bow and it’s about doing what’s best for the team.”