Farrell to play in Wigan curtain raiser

Former Wigan Captain Andy Farrell is set to make a remarkable return to the DW Stadium when he lines up for the Joining Jack Legends ahead of the Big One 5 on Friday night.

Farrell, renowned for his passionate leadership and inspirational teamtalks will once again be barking out the orders as he leads the Joining Jack Legends into battle.

The Legends will play a select team in a curtain raiser to the Big One 5 when Wigan Warriors face Super League rivals Leeds Rhinos at the DW Stadium on Friday evening.

Born in Wigan, Farrell made 370 appearances for his hometown club amassing 3135 points, the second highest total of all time, and picking up 15 trophies.

Now a member of the England Rugby Union coaching team, Farrell who left the Warriors in 2005 admitted he can’t wait to return: “It’s been a long time coming hasn’t it? It’s all a bit surreal right now and I don’t think it will feel real until I’m stood waiting to run out onto the pitch.

“To get this chance to play at the DW Stadium again in front of the Wigan fans is just fantastic and I cannot put into words how excited I am. I couldn’t turn this down and the team is looking strong, we definitely mean business and this will be no friendly!”

Farrell will be joined by another two Wigan legends with Steve Hampson and Denis Betts also confirming their places in the side. The trio made 1041 appearances for Wigan between them and are just 3 of 33 players to play over 300 times for the Wigan Club in its illustrious 142 year history.

Hampson picked up 23 pieces of silverware during an 11 year stint at the Club. Now part of the Warriors matchday backroom team, Hampson said: “I’ve spent a few years working with the guys on a matchday now so it’ll be a bit different when I’m lacing my boots up to go out there and play. I’ve kept myself in great shape since I finished playing and do a lot of personal training stuff these days so I feel in great shape and I’m really looking forward to playing now.”

Betts made 367 appearances during two spells for the Wigan Club scoring 129 tries. Now Head Coach at Widnes Vikings, Betts said: “As soon as I heard about the game I wanted to be involved. We all know that Joining Jack is a truly fantastic cause and I think the majority of fans will be in their seats early for this one.”

The Wigan trio are joined by former professional Rugby Union players Andy Craig and Paul Sampson in the team.

The Joining Jack Legends squad is: Denis Betts, Mick Cassidy, Gary Connolly, Andy Craig, Andy Farrell, Steve Hampson, Andy Johnson, Chris Joynt, Sean Long, Henry Paul, Kris Radlinski, Jason Robinson, Paul Sampson, Paul Sculthorpe

The game forms part of a top night of Entertainment with Starsailor’s James Walsh, singer-song writer Carolynne Poole and the New York Brass Brand all set to perform. A giant 8 feet Super League trophy will also be unveiled before the game made of tins donated by fans, organised by Houses for Homes the tins will be donated to The Brick food bank.

Large ticket sales have been recorded and fans are urged to buy in advance to ensure they don’t miss out. Tickets remain on sale from the DW Stadium ticket office, the ticket hotline 0871 6633 552 and online at wiganwarriors.com