Wiganer Hill braced for abuse from own family
Warrington captain Chris Hill is expecting some stick from the stands... and that's just from his family!
“My mum and dad still live in Wigan, my brother lives in Wigan and my missus’ mum and dad are Wigan fans,” Hill said.
“My missus’ brother is a die-hard Wigan fan who goes home and away.
“No doubt he’ll be shouting abuse at me from the top tier, as he does every time we play Wigan, you can always hear him!”
Under Hill’s captaincy, the Wolves returned to Wembley this year and bounced back from the heart-breaking defeat by Hull to lift the League Leaders’ Shield.
Tomorrow, they have the chance to win their first league title for 61 years when they take on Wigan in the Grand Final.
“It’s totally different to last year,” Hill said. “I think our mentality has changed.
“We had a good chat when we were in Tenerife for our pre-season camp where we changed our mentality around. We focused on what we wanted to win and we made it known we wanted to do the treble.
“We fell short at Wembley but we took one out and we’re going to take the other.”
Hill admits he is using that 12-10 Cup final defeat as extra motivation and, although he believes his club have not had the accolades they deserve for finishing top of the table, he acknowledges the big prize could come on Saturday night.
“I think sometimes you have to go through the heartache to make you a better player,” he said. “It drives you on, doesn’t it?
“You don’t want to feel like you did at the end of the Challenge Cup final. It’s motivation in itself. Others might have different motivation, but personally that’s one for me.
“I think the league leaders is under-estimated, it’s probably the hardest one to get. To be the most consistent side over 30 weeks is hard and so for us it was a great achievement but we want to go out with the big one on Saturday.
“I think leading the team out at Old Trafford will top Wembley, even though I had my eldest son with me at Wembley.
“I think it’s a different atmosphere, a bit more electric here, it makes the hairs stand up on the back of your neck.”
Hill, who on Saturday will extend an ever-present run of 82 consecutive matches going back more than two years, is one of three survivors from the Wolves team that lost in the 2012 and 2103 Grand Finals to Leeds and Wigan respectively - Stefan Ratchford and Ryan Atkins are the others.
“I’m not even thinking about that,” he said. “That’s in the past. The one against Wigan could have gone either way. We had a couple of injuries and had to re-shuffle.
“It hurts, it has for a few years, and hopefully we can overturn it on Saturday.”