Wane up for Leeds clash

Wigan Warriors celebrate Brett Finch's try against Saints. Below - Josh Charnley
Wigan Warriors celebrate Brett Finch's try against Saints. Below - Josh Charnley

SHAUN Wane welcomed the semi-final draw against Leeds – and said he isn’t bothered where it is played.

Challenge Cup holders Wigan were paired with the Headingley giants in a rematch of last year’s decider at Wembley.

And coach Wane said: “I’m happy with that.

“At this stage in the Cup, whoever you get drawn against you’re going to get tough opposition.

“Obviously, the fact we met at Wembley last year will give it extra spice. I’m sure they’ll try and use it as motivation but we’ll be ready.

“We’re desperate to get back to Wembley, and we’re confident if we play as we can play, defend as we did against Saints, then we’ll give ourselves a good chance.”

The game will take place at a neutral venue, and fans will be keen to discover if it is in Yorkshire or on this side of the Pennines.

“They could put it at Headingley – I’m not bothered where it is,” Wane said. “We will deal with it.”

Leeds, who beat Championship side Leigh 60-12 to progress to the semis, have been less than convincing in Super League this term and currently sit in seventh spot.

But Wane added: “They’re still a very good team. People were questioning them last year and they reached Wembley and won the Grand Final. So we’ll need to be on the ball – and we will be.”

In the other semi-final, Warrington will face Huddersfield, who scored nine treis in a crushing win against London Broncos yesterday evening.

The games will take place on the weekend of July 14/15.

Wigan booked their place in the last four with a gutsy, if scrappy, 18-4 win against derby rivals St Helens last Saturday.

“I think it came down to desire, who wanted it more,” said Kiwi prop Jeff Lima.

Paul Prescott suffered a knee injury during that game and will have it assessed today.

Wane fielded an entire starting pack of academy products, for the second time this year.

He said: “It shows that we’re doing things right here. It was really pleasing to be able to play so many lads who have come through the system here, and believe me, there’ll be plenty more coming through.”