Thompson insists St Helens not focussing on gap at the top ahead of derby

St Helens forward Luke Thompson has stressed that the runaway league leaders are paying no attention to their lofty position at the Super League summit ahead of Thursday’s derby with Wigan.

The Saints can clinch a play-off place before the Super 8s even begin next month – and a win against the Warriors on Thursday would move them ever-closer to the League Leader’s Shield, too.

They would be ten points clear of the chasing pack with victory, but Thompson has promised that the Saints have one thing and one thing alone on their mind this week: claiming the local bragging rights.

“Obviously there is a bit of a gap now but we don’t really take too much notice of that,” said Thompson.

“We’ve two tough games coming up and they are what you want to play in, now we’re coming to the business end of the year. We’ve been pretty consistent so far this year and I think if we keep on doing what we’ve been doing we shouldn’t go far wrong.

“Obviously a lot can happen but we’ll keep working hard. It’s hard work and what you do off the field helps you keep delivering on those standards.”

The Warriors are struggling with injuries and could hand a debut to new recruit Chris Hankinson, signed from Swinton in the week.

But Thompson has played down any talk of the Saints’ great rivals being any more vulnerable than usual.

“It doesn’t matter what team Wigan put out, especially in a derby,” he said. “They’ve got a great team across the board and in the derby I think everyone always rises to the occasion.”