Wigan Warriors' Oliver Gildart poised to fulfil childhood dream of playing at Nou Camp
Oliver Gildart knows what it likes to walk out onto the hallowed Camp Nou turf – he did as a schoolboy!
The centre will be in the Wigan side which faces Catalans in Saturday’s ground-breaking Super League game in Barcelona.
And it will be a return to a venue he visited as a promising junior footballer.
“We went on a football school trip and did the stadium tour when I was in year nine,” said Gildart, an ex-St Edmund Arrowswith High pupil who was once with Everton academy.
“I was at that age whether it was was still in the balance whether I’d pursue football or rugby league. I remember thinking it would be pretty cool to play there. To go back now – and playing rugby – is pretty unreal.
"It's unbelievable we get a chance to play here. It's great for the sport, hopefully we get a few more rugby league fans along."
A Super League record crowd of around 30,000 is expected on Saturday as Wigan look to quickly recover from their 26-24 Challenge Cup loss at Warrington.
"We're miles better than a few weeks ago," he said. "The whole Super League know if we play like that, we win most games - not many will keep with us.
"We're disappointed to be out the Challenge Cup but all our eggs are in one basket now - it's all on this."