Sam Tomkins says there are plenty of reasons for Warriors to be excited for Saturday’s Challenge Cup quarter-final at Warrington.
The full-back, who will leave at the end of the season to join Catalans Dragons, will also be aiming to ensure coach Shaun Wane also departs at the end of the season with another winner’s medal.
Warriors have beaten Warrington at the Halliwell Jones Stadium at the quarter-final stage in 2011 and 2017 in recent years, with Tomkins featuring in both, and he admits the venue is one of his favourites.
“I love playing at the Halliwell Jones, I’m buzzing for it, I love the atmosphere,” said Tomkins.
“It’s our biggest game of the year so far. I love it, it’s a brilliant atmosphere, Wigan fans travel well there, it’s a great pitch, great stadium, there’s a lot to be excited about.”
Wigan will be looking to recapture their form at Magic Weekend when they beat the Wolves 38-10 before a disappointing loss at Hull KR last Friday.
But Tomkins said the players will look at the result as a wake-up call rather than thinking the loss came at the wrong time.
“That’s one way of looking at it, or maybe it’s the kick up the backside before a much more important game,” he said. “We’ll need to be better and I’m sure we will be.”
And they will need improve to if they are to ensure Tomkins and Wane get one last crack at Wembley with Wigan.
“I was equally surprised as anyone when Shaun told us (he was leaving) – he’s been a part of my career since I was 15 and it’s a strange one,” said Tomkins on Wane’s departure.
“I had no (inkling). When I told him I was going to sign for Catalans, he was understanding but he didn’t look happy with it, he wanted me to stay.
“It doesn’t affect me as when I leave, he will, but it will be strange to think he won’t be here.
“He’s part of the furniture – we’ve never had any of the speculation. It’s going to be strange but you respect his reasons.”