Oliver Gildart will follow in the footsteps of his father today when he is involved in a World Club Challenge – and he admits it is the one trophy he is desperate to win.
Gildart’s father, Ian, was an unused sub exactly 30 years ago as Wigan defeated Manly at a packed Central Pack – and the young centre will be in Wigan’s side that plays Cronulla this afternoon.
“You look at the pictures – I see them a lot in my family as it is – and see that it was such a special night for Wigan as a town and as a club,” he told TotalRL.
“Dad was on the bench and didn’t play that night but he’s mentioned to me what it’s like to be involved in it and I think it’s helped get me ready.
“This is the one we want,” he insists. “It’s the one we’re desperate for because we’ve not won one in my lifetime so it would be pretty nice to know what it feels like for Wigan to become world champions. My dad was involved in it 30 years ago and I guess it’s weird how these things work out that I’m in his position now going for it.”
NRL sides have won six of the last seven World Club Challenge games; but after Gildart had a taste of international club rugby last year against Brisbane as part of the World Club Series, he is adamant the stakes are higher this weekend.
“It’ll be right up there with the Grand Final last year if we can get over the line and and become world champions,” he says. “We’ve played in the World Club Series in the past of course, but being in the big game on the Sunday and the final match, it does all feel a little bit different and a little bit more significant. There’s a different atmosphere to the game last year and a different feel around the town.”