The Wigan Warriors take on the Warrington Wolves at St James’ Park on Saturday in the third game of day as both clubs look to close the gap on League leaders St Helens.
Shaun Wane is forced into making one change from the Challenge Cup win over Hull KR as captain Shaun O’Loughlin misses out with a calf problem, replaced in the squad by Frenchman Morgan Escare.
Prop forward Tony Clubb is expected to make his 100th appearance for the club in front of the Newcastle crowd with centre Oliver Gildart set to play his first game since signing a new three-year deal, keeping him at the club till 2021.
Wigan Warriors 19-man squad: Bateman, Clubb, Davies, Escare, Farrell, Flower, Gildart, Isa, Leuluai, Marshall, Navarrete, Powell, Sarginson, Sutton, Tautai, J. Tomkins, S. Tomkins, Williams, Woods.
Steve Price’s Warrington come into the match on the back of a 66 – 10 demolition job over the Toronto Wolfpack in the Challenge Cup and has the luxury of being able to name the same 19 man squad for the third consecutive fixture.
The Wolves will be looking to extend their 10 match unbeaten streak while simultaneously ending Wigan’s run of seven games without a defeat.
Price spoke in the week about how the Wolves are heading in the right direction under his stewardship and will be looking to continue their fantastic form in the North East.
Warrington Wolves 19-man squad: Akauola, Atkins, K. Brown, M. Brown, Charnley, Clark, Cooper, Goodwin, Hill, Hughes, G. King, Lineham, Livett, Murdoch-Masila, Patton, Philbin, Ratchford, Roberts, Westwood.
HEAD TO HEAD
These two sides met at the Magic Weekend last year playing out a 24 – 24 draw in a magnificent game.
This season, Warrington were victorious 16-10 victors over the Warriors in the opening month of the season at the Halliwell Jones stadium.
Tom Lineham and Ryan Atkins crossed for the Wire with Bryson Goodwin converting both and adding two penalty goals. Liam Marshall and Tony Clubb were the Wigan scorers but couldn’t prevent their side being beaten on the night.
The Wolves have never won whilst the Magic Weekend has been held in Newcastle and Wigan be hoping to keep that record in tact come Saturday evening.
KEY BATTLE – Liam Marshall v Josh Charnley
It’s the battle of the wingers in Newcastle as Liam Marshall and Josh Charnley take to the field in Newcastle on Saturday afternoon.
Free scoring academy product Marshall has a superb record against Warrington, scoring nine tries in just five games in this fixture.
Four of those tries came on just his second Super League game and he grabbed a hat trick in the draw in this same game at the Magic Weekend last season.
Charnley’s appearance on the wing for the Wire will be his first against his former club since his return to Rugby League.
The Warriors will know all about the danger he possesses having scored 149 tries in 151 games for the Cherry and White’s but stopping him will be easier said than done.
The former England international has scored 12 tries in his short career as a Warrington player so far and will fancy his chances of adding to that this weekend.
What ever the result, expect these two to be on the try scoring list having had a say in their sides result.
THE IMPORTANT DETAILS
Date: Saturday 19th May
Venue: St James’ Park, Newcastle
Referee: R. Hicks
WHO WILL WIN?