Wigan Warriors still have defensive DNA of old days, says Ellery Hanley

Ellery Hanley will be in Barcelona
Ellery Hanley will be in Barcelona

Legend Ellery Hanley still believes Wigan have the ‘defensive DNA’ to be a Super League force – as they prepare to break new ground this weekend.

The former GB captain will be at Camp Nou to watch the Warriors attempt to continue their Super League resurgence with victory against Catalans.

And Hanley says they still have the bedrock of a good side despite their rocky beginning to the campaign.

“Wigan as we know have had a poor start, but I generally think they have a core of being a good side,” he said.

“It’s always difficult to beat them because their primary strength is their defence.

“When I played for Wigan we built everything on defence, every single thing, we attacked in defence. You have to have the desire to want to tackle and I still feel they have that in them still.

“I’m not saying to the full effect of the Dean Bells and Joe Lydons and they were a brilliant side then, but it’s still in their DNA.”

A crowd of more than 25,004 would mark a Super League record for a regular season match.

“I think it’s a fantastic idea, a great notion to take it to Barcelona and to attract supporters from different avenues,” he said. “It’s fantastic for the sport, I’ll be there and I’m looking forward to the experience.”

Hanley played on many of the great stages – and even experienced a match in Milwaukee, USA – and doesn’t expect the players to be over-awed by the venue.

“What generally happens is before you start, you hear the noise, but once the first tackle is underway it’s almost gone,” he said. “Some players feel the effect a little bit longer, depending on the individual.”