Two rugby codes collided this week as Wigan Rugby League travelled to Bath Rugby Union for some dual-training in the South West.
Whilst the two sides are at different stages of their season – Wigan have just three fixtures left of their regular First Utility Super League campaign whilst Bath will kick-off their Aviva Premiership campaign away to Sale Sharks in early September – both Head Coaches could see the benefit in some cross-code training.
Wigan Head Coach, Shaun Wane said: “We’d have liked to have been playing this weekend but unfortunately we are out of the Challenge Cup so when Mike offered us the chance to come down here it was one we couldn’t turn down.
“Mike and I played together back when we were both at Wigan so it was an easy conversation to have. Mike has his thoughts on how he would like Bath to play rugby next season and I take it as a compliment that he contacted me to ask if we could come down. For us it has been something a bit different and has given us something extra which I hope can help spur us on as we look to finish the season strongly and defend our Super League title.
“I’d like to thank Mike and everyone at Bath for their hospitality throughout our time here.”
Mike Ford, Bath Head Coach said: “Both Union and League can learn a lot from each other. Obviously I come from a League background, and started my career at Wigan, so knew the various ways in which this couple of days of joint training could help us prepare for the new season.
“Pre-season has been a tough eight weeks or so, so it has been really good for us to be able to give the players something new to think about, a fresh way of looking at things, and a different contest in training. Being able to have players other than our own squad to run against has been really beneficial as we look to the Sale game in September.”
“Wigan have been brilliant, and challenged us in exactly the way I intended. They are a very smart side, and Shaun has done a fantastic job with them. I’d like to thank him and his squad, and hope this relationship can continue in the future,” Ford added.