It will be like a school reunion for the Salford Red Devils squad this evening, as several of the team prepare to face their old club, as they take on Wigan Warriors.
The game will be the first time that Salford coach Iestyn Harris has gone up against his former side – where he served as Shaun Wane’s assistant before being appointed as Brian Noble’s successor with the Red Devils back in April.
Martin Gleeson, Harrison Hansen and Logan Tomkins will also face their former side – with Tomkins being allowed to play as part of his loan deal with the Warriors. Half-back Blake Green (torn bicep) has been added to Wigan’s long injury list, while forward John Bateman and full-back Matty Bowen are also missing.
But youngster Ryan Hampshire is fit to return and prop Greg Burke is also included in Wane’s 19-man squad, which looks incredibly light of experience, with the likes of Sean O’Loughlin still missing from action.
Salford Red Devils: Ashurst, Chase, Dixon, Eden, Gleeson, Griffin, Hansen, Hock, Howarth, Lee, Meli, Morley, Platt, Puletua, Rapira, Sa’u, Tasi, Tomkins, Williams.
Wigan Warriors: Austin, Burke, Burgess, Crosby, Dudson, C. Farrell, Gelling, Goulding, Hampshire, Hughes, James, Manfredi, McIlorum, S. Powell, Sarginson, Smith, Sutton, Taylor, Williams.
Wigan have won their last 15 matches (seven away from home) against Salford, including a win in the Quarter Finals of the Challenge Cup in 2009.
Salford’s last win against Wigan was 16-4, in Round Five of the Challenge Cup, at The Willows on 19 May, 2006. The Red Devils’ last Super League win against the Warriors was 28-10 at The Willows on 3 March, 2006.
Salford’s Francis Meli has scored tries in each of the Red Devils’ last three games (1-2-1).
Even with Wigan’s threadbare squad looking incredibly weak, they should still be able to get the job done against a Salford side who are incredibly down on confidence. Back Wigan’s youngsters to get the victory and move above Castleford into third.
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