Wigan Warriors head coach Shaun Wane has described the club’s World Club Challenge match with Cronulla as a “must-win game.”
The Warriors will become the most successful team in the competition’s history with a victory over the Sharks by claiming an unprecedented fourth title, although they have not won the competition since defeating Brisbane Broncos in the 1994 event.
The NRL has dominated the match in recent years, with Australian sides winning the match in seven of the last eight meetings between the NRL and Super League’s Grand Final winners.
Wigan themselves have lost in their last two appearances, going down to St George-Illawarra Dragons in 2011 before being defeated by Sydney Roosters three years later.
Following last year’s Super League success, Wane insists that Wigan have to be triumphant for the reputation of Super League and the Warriors as a club.
“It’s a game we have to win and it’s a game I’m desperate to win,” he said.
“We haven’t done well as a competition in this game for a long time. We want to sell our competition as the best in the world. Us really challenging and even beating Cronulla would go a long way to doing that. it’s really important for Rugby League as a game. I’m sure the supporters will come out and be really vocal for us.
“All of our pre-season has been about performing against Salford and turning up against Cronulla, and I’m looking forward to that. We have to win this, it’s the first of potentially four trophies for is so it’s important we put a performance on.
“It would mean everything to win. it’s a long time since we won it. I have won it in the past and I loved it.
“It’s going to be a real tough one, but I promise you one thing, it’ll be tough for Cronulla. It’s game on, we’re ready to play.”