Saints boast adds spice to derby countdown, says Wane

Shaun Wane hopes Wigan can put their 'stamp' on the game
Shaun Wane hopes Wigan can put their 'stamp' on the game

SHAUN Wane hopes Wigan can do their talking on the pitch this Friday night – admitting comments from the Saints camp have added “spice” to the Super 8s clash.

The Warriors head to Langtree Park – for possibly the last derby of the year – aiming to keep the pressure on leaders Leeds.

The Challenge Cup winners have eyes on a rare trophy treble, and St Helens captain Jon Wilkin was recently quoted as saying: “I think we are the only side that can disrupt everything that Leeds are talking about.”

It was a remark which raised a few eyebrows in the Warriors camp.

“They talk a lot about ‘they are St Helens’ and being the only team to beat Leeds, so we need to make sure we put our stamp on the game as well,” said Wane.

“They’re talking about how well they’re doing, so that adds to the spice of the game.”

Asked was he surprised by Wilkin’s comment, Wane said: “No. My captain is from Wigan and doesn’t need to talk like that.

“They can do what they want. But I’m not surprised. Not one bit.”

Pressed further, he added: “We’ve beaten Leeds twice (this season), he must have forgotten about that.

“He wants to be on television, he’s entitled to his opinion. He’s a good lad Jon Wilkin, he just... says too much.”

Wigan yesterday trained at the Elite Fitness Factory at Eckersley Mill – a gym co-owned by ex-Warrior Bob Beswick – to “freshen up” their training.

Sean O’Loughlin is expected to return to the side on Friday after a minor calf injury. Full-back Matty Bowen and forward Larne Patrick are also back in the frame, but Liam Farrell remains a doubt.

The England second-rower has an upper-body injury and Wane will make a decision later this week.

Second-placed Wigan are level with Leeds at the top, with two rounds to go, though Brian McDermott’s men have a better points difference of 60.

They host Castleford on Thursday night.

Meanwhile, former Warriors stand-off Tim Smith has been charge with failing to provide a sample for analysis and driving without due care and attention. Current club Wakefield issued a statement to say they were aware of an incident in Hull and were cooperating with police.