Wigan Chairman Ian Lenagan is hoping strongly that his club can win the World Club Challenge against the Cronulla Sharks today for the first time since he took over the Warriors almost a decade ago.
“I’m in my tenth year and it’s the only trophy we’ve not won, although the club won it three times (1987, 1992 and 1994) prior to my arrival here,” Lenagan told Totalrl.com.
“Since then we’ve lost twice against St George and the Roosters.
“In games against NRL clubs there has only been one game when we were off the pace, which was against Brisbane last year.
“But this year we have our best chance ever to win.”
But Lenagan senses that this could be the year when the British game roars back to life in the eyes of the Australians, particularly after Saturday night’s victory by Warrington over Brisbane.
“In the match programme I have talked about our three wins and how important it is for Wigan, the British game, for me and for everyone that we play well on Sunday.
“We have a very good squad prepared to go at full tilt.
“We will have a very good attendance that should be well over 20,000.
“From our viewpoint we are up for it without any doubt and the atmosphere on Sunday afternoon will be magnificent.
“We can’t be over-confident but I’m very optimistic.
“We still have Dom Manfredi, Sam Tomkins and Michael McIlorum out.
“But Tommy Leuluai is looking magnificent at scrum-half and he will make a big difference.
“If you look at our four new players – Leuluai, Joe Burgess, Romain Navarette, the young French prop, and Morgan Escaré – they are all making a great contribution. Morgan is kicking goals and playing superbly, and he is seriously quick.
“This is the tenth year of my ownership of Wigan and for us to come into this game as Champions makes it even better.
“We have sold just under 9,000 season tickets and our shirt sales are good. We are hitting our budget target, but to win the World Club Challenge would give us another great boost.”
A full report, photos and analysis of the World Club Challenge clash will feature in the new edition of League Express.