The second televised game of the 2016 season pits last year’s Grand Final losers Wigan Warriors against Catalans Dragons, who will be looking to overcome a disappointing 2015 and start with a bang.
The Warriors didn’t lose at the DW Stadium throughout the entirety of 2015 – but can Catalans spring an upset tonight? Here’s four players we think could significantly influence the game, who’ve gone under the radar a bit as this game approaches.
Josh Charnley (Wigan)
The former England international will get his opportunity to impress tonight, following the departure of Joe Burgess to the NRL. A wing spot has been vacated by Burgess, and Charnley will likely make a big impact in a somewhat unfamiliar position of left wing as he looks to get his career back on track this year.
Fouad Yaha (Catalans)
With Jodie Broughton out for Catalans tonight, there’s an opportunity for another winger to catch the eye – Catalans’ Fouad Yaha. He really did impress whenever he was in the Dragons team last year, and he’s one of the finest youngsters the club possess. He will catch the eye for certain this evening.
Ben Flower (Wigan)
Ben Flower’s return to the Wigan team last year was a largely unheralded one – but he was actually one of the best front-rowers around in 2015, playing a key role in the club’s charge to Old Trafford and the Super League Grand Final. If he can replicate that form in 2016 he will almost certainly catch the eye of many, reminding them what a top prop he is on his day.
Richie Myler (Catalans)
Catalans’ high-profile recruits like Glenn Stewart, Paul Aiton and Dave Taylor have somewhat faded Richie Myler into the background in comparison – but he will certainly show people what he’s capable of in Perpignan this year. He impressed during their pre-season game at Huddersfield recently, and in a livewire pairing with Todd Carney, Myler will rediscover his best form this year: starting tonight.