Wigan captain Sean O’Loughlin is adamant that their Super League clash with Salford is a welcome roadblock ahead of the World Club Challenge.
The Warriors begin their defence of Super League with a trip to face the Red Devils, who are looking to secure a top eight position for the first time during the Super 8s structure.
Over the years, clubs taking part in the clash between the Super League and NRL’s Champions have slipped up in the game ahead of the global clash, but O’Loughlin insists Wigan will not allow that to happen.
“It could be a danger,” O’Loughlin admitted.
“But it’s different than a Challenge Cup Final or something like that where you go through rounds and pick up momentum. We need a tough game from Salford. We want a tough, close physical game as that’s what we’ll be involved in the week after. The nearer to that standard we can get the better.
“They’ve made some good signings, Lee Mossop has gone there who we know well. Since Australia he’s probably not had the run of games he’s wanted at Wigan, he’s had a few injuries, but he’ll want to stamp his authority on the competition this year.”
Naturally, following last year’s success, the Warriors will have to cope with their counterparts vying to dislodge them from their perch, but O’Loughlin insists that won’t be an issue.
“In the years we haven’t won something you come in raring to go to put that right, at the same time when you do win something you work hard to try and emulate that. We’re there to be shot at this year and there will be clubs trying to knock us down a peg or two.”