Hull Kingston Rovers will be looking to get their first victory of 2014 under their belt tonight, but they face a tough task as they head to last years Grand Final winners, the Wigan Warriors.
The Warriors have hardly made the best possible start to Super League XIX themselves, and have just one win to their name from their opening three clashes. Last time out, they lost a dramatic clash to Castleford with the final play of the game, as Luke Dorn’s last-gasp try consigned them to a 36-31 defeat. However, captain Sean O’Loughlin will prove to be a priceless returnee for the Warriors as they look to get their season on track. Gil Dudson also returns for the home side, with Logan Tomkins expected to deputise at hooker for the suspended Michael McIlorum.
It is just one point from a possible eight so far for Craig Sandercock’s men, and they look to be in the thick of the relegation dogfight at this, admittedly, early stage in the campaign. However, they are boosted by the return of forward Neville Costigan as they look to post their first victory of the season. Ade Gardner is also in line to make his Hull KR debut, after he signed on loan from St Helens earlier in the week.
Wigan: Bowen, Burgess, Charnley, Clubb, Crosby, Dudson, Farrell, Flower, Goulding, Green, Hughes, James, O’Loughlin, Pettybourne, Smith, Taylor, Thornley, Tomkins, Williams.
Hull KR: Burns, Carlile, Cockayne, Costigan, Cox, Eden, Gardner, Green, Hodgson, Horne, Keating, Langley, Larroyer, Netherton, Poore, Salter, Walker, Welham, Weyman.
Referee: Richard Silverwood
Wigan have won their last twelve meetings (five at home) with Hull KR. The Robins’ last win against the Warriors was 20-12 at the JJB Stadium (as it was then known) on 15 May, 2009.
The Warriors ended the Robins’ Super League season with play-off successes in both 2009 and 2010.
Wigan’s Josh Charnley (3-1-1-1-2) has scored tries in the Warriors’ last five games against Hull KR.
Should Liam Farrell play tonight, it will be his 100th Super League appearance for Wigan, having made his debut in 2010.
Josh Charnley needs four tries for 100 in Super League – having scored his first four for tonight’s opponents, Hull KR.
Ade Gardner needs one try to draw level with Pat Richards (147) in sixth place in the list of all-time Super League leaders.
All of Gardner’s 146 tries have been scored for St Helens (2002-2013).
Wigan having their influential captain back in the side – combined with the fact they are at home – should be enough to see them over the line against a Rovers side seeking desperately for form.