Date: Saturday, 30 May
Venue: St James’ Park
Leeds 19 man squad: Hardaker, Handley, Watkins, Moon, Hall, Sinfield, McGuire, Cuthbertson, Aiton, Peacock, S Ward, Achurch, Ablett, Burrow, Sutcliffe, Singleton, Walters, Delaney, Jones-Buchanan.
Wigan 19 man squad: Bowen, Charnley, J Tomkins, Sarginson, Burgess, Powell, Smith, Crosby, McIllorum, Mossop, Bateman, Patrick, O’Loughlin, Williams, Tautai, Sutton, C Farrell, Flower, Hampshire.
Last Five Meetings
Leeds 26-14 Wigan – Round 6, 2015
Wigan 21-6 Leeds – Round 26, 2014
Leeds 14-18 Wigan (@ Etihad Stadium) – Round 13, 2014
Leeds 28-12 Wigan – Round 11, 2014
Wigan 22-12 Leeds – Play-off Qualifying Semi-Final, 2013
Wigan will be looking to bounce back from last weekend’s humiliating 58-16 defeat away to Catalans by beating league leaders Leeds at St James’ Park on Saturday.
The game acts as the closing curtain for Saturday’s Magic Weekend action in Newcastle where a record-breaking 40,000 fans are expected to be in attendance.
The contest is one of the most eagerly anticipated ties of the weekend, with the Warriors having narrowly beaten the Rhinos at the last two Magic Weekend events held at the Etihad Stadium in Manchester.
Wigan head-coach Shaun Wane is undefeated in the Super League showcase event, with the Warriors edging a thrilling contest 18-14 last season and 20-16 in 2013.
Last weekend’s surprise defeat away to Catalans was an anomaly for the Warriors given their impressive league form which had seen them record five impressive consecutive wins.
Wigan were knocked out of the Challenge Cup by Hull KR a fortnight ago also, and with the continued absences of Anthony Gelling, Dom Manfredi and Liam Farrell, Shaun Wane’s side face an uphill task of reducing the gap to Leeds at the top of the table to two points.
For the Rhinos, Brett Delaney is available after missing last weekend’s 36-16 win over Hull KR with a leg injury. Jamie Jones-Buchanan is also in the 19-man squad but has played just one of Leeds’ last nine matches.
While caught up in the spectacle of the Magic Weekend it is often difficult to remember that two points are at stake; points which come the end of the weekend could see Leeds five points clear at the top of the Super League table.