Wigan Warriors’ postponed fixture with Widnes is now back on, and will be played tonight at Widnes’ Select Security Stadium at 8pm.
Widnes confirmed in a statement arrangements had been made from them to host the fixture, under 17 hours since Wigan revealed that the fixture had been postponed.
The reverse fixture between the two clubs on July 2nd will now be played at the DW Stadium.
James Rule, the Widnes CEO, had revealed following the original postponement that they had not been consulted by Wigan about the status of the game. It is also understood that the RFL were not involved in the decision.
The Wigan chairman, Ian Lenagan, claimed in the club’s original statement that they had made the decision to postpone the match following discussions with the chairman of their co-tenats at the DW Stadium, Wigan Athletic.
It has been confirmed by the Rugby Football League that they will investigate Wigan’s involvement in the latest farce to hit the sport, and whether Wigan broke their operational rules.
Ticket prices for tonight’s rescheduled match have been cut in light of the late notice, with all tickets now available for £10. Wigan have compensated Widnes for the anticipated loss of revenue.
Rule commented: “Last night’s announcement from Wigan caught us by surprise. As a club we have worked into the early hours of the morning, liaising with the RFL and Wigan Warriors to ascertain the options available to us. The RFL confirmed that any immediate rescheduling of this fixture could only be decided between the two clubs and conversations therefore continued throughout this morning.
“One option was to seek a rescheduling of this fixture at a later stage of the season. In our opinion, that was not a tenable option in light of the physical challenges of already having the Easter weekend fixtures and a second short turnaround weekend to facilitate the mid-season international. To then try and accommodate another week with three games would be foolhardy from both a performance and player welfare point of view.
“That left us with two options: to leave the matter in the hands of the RFL Board and pursue our Club being awarded the two points, as a consequence of potential misconduct and breach of operational rules by Wigan Warriors. However, with an independent RFL Board, there is no guarantee that such an outcome would be achieved, which would leave us back in the starting position of having to accommodate a rescheduled fixture.”
Wigan Warriors Chairman, Ian Lenagan, added: “Directors of both clubs have been in discussions throughout the night and we believe that this is the best outcome for all involved.
“The DW Stadium management have agreed to shorten the pitch renovation works scheduled for the summer to allow us to accommodate the reversed fixture.
“We understand the frustration of fans at the lateness of this change but we have collectively worked together to find the best case solution under the circumstances.
“The Wigan Club will make a significant financial contribution to compensate Widnes for the short notice of the staging of this game and our sincere thanks go to Widnes CEO James Rule who has worked tirelessly with us to get this fixture on. We look forward to the game this evening.”