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Match preview: St Helens

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Everything you need to know for Tuesday night’s Betfred Super League derby clash with St Helens.

The Brief

Wigan Warriors meet arch rivals St Helens for the first time in 2020 on Tuesday night as the two clubs go head to head at Salford’s AJ Bell Stadium in Round 14 of the Betfred Super League (K.O. 7:45pm).

In a battle of second versus third, it’s a short turnaround for Adrian Lam’s side, who go into the fixture after beating Wakefield Trinity on Friday night.

Meanwhile, St Helens have not featured since their Round 6 Coral Challenge Cup loss to Warrington Wolves last Saturday.

5M3A6829-1-1024x634.jpgAJ Bell Stadium, Salford.

Following the news that the Government paused its plans to allow a limited number of fans back into sporting venues, the game will be conducted behind closed doors at the AJ Bell Stadium.

Team News

Boss Lam has made ten changes to the squad that faced Wakefield, with a number of young talents in line to make their first team debut for the Warriors. 

Umyla Hanley, Kai Pearce-Paul, Ben Kilner and Sam Halsall are all included in the Warriors’ 21-man squad for the first time.

  • SWF01926-1-1024x683.jpg
  • SWF01897-1024x683.jpg
  • SWF01975-1-1024x683.jpg
  • SWF01890-1024x655.jpg
Hanley, Pearce-Paul, Kilner, Halsall (left to right)

Half-back Jake Shorrocks returns to the 21 after being sidelined with a hamstring injury since the return from lockdown.

jake-shorrocks-Holts-1-1024x576.jpgJake Shorrocks has not featured for Wigan since the Round 2 fixture against Castleford Tigers in February.

Prop Joe Bullock features after sitting out Wigan’s last two games with a hand injury. 

Dom Manfredi also returns to the squad after missing out on Friday’s Round 13 fixture against Wakefield with a head knock. 

Second-row Morgan Smithies serves the fifth of a six-match ban received for two separate incidents during Wigan’s win over Castleford in Round 10. Learn more HERE.

Injury news

Experienced forward George Burgess misses out as he continues to fully overcome a hip problem.

Winger Liam Marshall continues his long-term recovery from an Anterior Cruciate Ligament knee injury sustained during the Round 10 tie with Castleford.

Prop Tony Clubb remains sidelined with a long-term neck injury.

Here is Wigan’s 21-man squad:


The Opposition

Centre Mark Percival is out after limping off in Saints’ Coral Challenge Cup defeat to Warrington last week, meaning Matty Costello returns to the squad.

Joe Batchelor also returns with Jack Ashworth missing out in the only other change. Jack Welsby is included after going off with a head knock in the Cup.

Tommy Makinson serves the final game of his five-match ban.

Here is St Helens’ 21-man squad:


The boss makes 2⃣ changes as @mattcostello21 comes in for the injured @MarkPercival22 and @batjoelor is named in place of @jackashworthx ahead of Tuesday's clash with @WiganWarriorsRL 👊

⬅ Percival, Ashworth
➡ Costello, Batchelor#COYS

— St.Helens R.F.C. (@Saints1890) September 27, 2020

Did You Know?

At least two Wigan youngsters will make their debuts for the Club on Tuesday night.

With six of the 21-man squad not featuring for the Warriors before, there is a guarantee that at least two will play for the first team for the first time.

The six players are Sam Halsall, Kai Pearce-Paul, James McDonnell, Harry Rushton, Umyla Hanley and Ben Kilner.

  • IMG_9214-1024x683.jpg
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McDonnell (left), Rushton (right)

Previous Meetings

Last ten meetings:

  • St Helens 40, Wigan 10 (SLQSF, 27/9/19)
  • St Helens 32, Wigan 10 (SLR22, 12/7/19)
  • Wigan 10, St Helens 36 (SLR11, 19/4/19)
  • St Helens 22, Wigan 12 (SLR1, 31/1/19)
  • St Helens 10, Wigan 30 (SLS8-R3, 31/8/18)
  • Wigan 6, St Helens 14 (SLR22, 19/7/18)
  • St Helens 21, Wigan 18 (SLR8, 30/3/18)
  • St Helens 16, Wigan 26 (SLS8-R4, 1/9/17)
  • St Helens 22, Wigan 19 (SLR15, 25/5/17)
  • Wigan 29, St Helens 18 (SLR9, 14/4/17)

Super League summary

  • Wigan won 37 (includes win in 2010 Grand Final & wins in 2001, 2003 and 2004 play-offs)
  • St Helens won 40 (includes wins in 2000 and 2014 Grand Finals & wins in 2000, 2002, 2009, 2011 and 2019 play-offs)
  • 4 draws 

Head to Head

Here are a few statistics between the two teams from the season so far:


Coach Quotes

Speaking to the media via Zoom link on Monday morning, Lam discussed the reasons behind his reshuffled squad.

“With so many games coming up, we’ve had to try and balance everything. I imagine it’s the same for most clubs.

“It is a long season and I think it will be the teams with the strongest squads who are there come the end of the season.”

Screenshot-2020-09-28-at-10.42.36-1024x4Lam addressing the media via Zoom link on Monday morning. 

With a number of first team players rested for the Coral Challenge Cup Semi Final on Saturday against Leeds Rhinos, the Head Coach discussed the potential for some young players to make their first appearances for Wigan.

“There will be some players who make their debuts tomorrow night. It’s a strong team we a putting out there and we are going there to win.


“The players we have coming through here right across the board are great young men. 

“They have plenty to learn but each of them brings their own box of tricks which is special.

“They have an opportunity tomorrow night to create their own legacy there.” 

Aside of the youngsters potentially involved on Tuesday, Lam also highlighted how the game provides an opportunity for more established first team players to stake a claim for his best 17.

“Those players (fringe players) have a point to prove, so they need to go in with a lot of energy, because there’s players playing for a potential spot in the final 17. That’s why I’m really excited about it.”

Match Officials

The man in the middle on Friday will be Ben Thaler. The video referee is James Child.

AM30314-1024x681.jpgBen Thaler.

How to Follow

The Listen Live feature will be available from the home page on www.wiganwarriors.com.

The live commentary function will give fans free match commentary from Joe Mills of the full 80 minutes.

BILKO-AND-JOE-EDIT-1024x678.jpgJoe Mills (right).

Warriors season ticket holders can watch the game live via the RFL’s OurLeague streaming service. 

Season ticket holders should all have received their unique login codes to access the OurLeague streaming service for Wigan Warriors games. If you haven’t, please contact info@wiganwarriors.comand we will be able to help.

In addition, the game will be broadcast live on Sky Sports Arena.

Furthermore, Wigan fans can follow every piece of the action via our social media channels and website.

  • Twitter (@WiganWarriorsRL) – live game updates and reaction at the final hooter.
  • Instagram (@wiganwarriorsrl) – live behind-the-scenes action, both before and after kick-off.
  • Facebook (Wigan Warriors) – live matchday information.
  • Website (www.wiganwarriors.com) – post-match reaction including match report, and Head Coach and players reaction.

Wigan TV

Matches will continue to be available – as usual – on Wigan TV, with highlights, extended highlights and full match replays available after the relevant holdback times. There will also be post-match interviews available to watch.

If you’re not already a subscriber to Wigan TV, click HERE today to join. Choose a monthly (£5.99), quarterly (£11.99) or annual (£38.99) subscription with no contract. Pay with PayPal or credit/debit card.

Other Fixtures

Tuesday 29th September

  • Salford Red Devils vs Warrington Wolves (5:30pm)
  • Wigan Warriors vs St Helens (7:45pm)

Wednesday 30th September

  • Huddersfield Giants vs Hull KR (5:30pm)
  • Leeds Rhinos vs Catalans Dragons (6pm)

Thursday 1st October

  • Castleford Tigers vs Hull FC (7:45pm)

The post Match preview: St Helens appeared first on Wigan Warriors Blog.

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