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SUPER LEAGUE PREVIEW: Wigan Warriors vs Salford Red Devils

Salford Red Devils travel to the DW Stadium on Thursday night looking for their first ever victory over Wigan Warriors there.

Their last away victory in the fixture was way back in August 1997 when the Reds came away from Central Park with a 21-14 triumph. In fact, they have only been on top in five of their 37 Super League meetings.

They have started the season well though, with a comprehensive victory over St Helens and on Sunday they kept Widnes Vikings at arm’s length to make it back-to-back wins.

Wigan go into the game with two league wins from two, however they were put to the sword by Brisbane Broncos on Saturday night in the World Club Series.

The Aussies cruised to a 42-12 win as the NRL picked up another 3-0 series win, and the game came at a cost for Shaun Wane as he lost Michael McIlorum who could miss the majority of the season.

Willie Isa is also set for a six week lay-off with a knee-injury and Josh Charnley misses this week with a facial injury, as Lee Mossop, Nick Gregson and Joe Bretherton come into the 19 man squad.

The Red Devils were delighted to welcome back Junior Sa’u last week and their strike centre retains his place for the trip to Wigan, with Jordan Walne coming into the side for the first time this season.

Former Wigan hooker Logan Tomkins is set to make his 100th career appearance against his home town club.

Salford look to have found a dangerous halfback combination in Michael Dobson and Robert Lui, and with a big middle unit they could cause an understrength Warriors side problems.

Ben Murdoch-Masila looks to be a great addition to their back row and with hard working forwards in the shape of Craig Kopzcak and Matt Sarsfield their owner, Marwan Koukash, is confident that this is the side which will take the club forward.

A lot of pressure will be on Sam Powell’s shoulders now with McIlorum’s injury blow, however he has proven his class at hooker in the past and could use this as a chance to establish himself in the starting 13.

With two big forward packs on show whoever wins the arm wrestle early on could give themselves a great opportunity of picking up the points in this encounter, and if Salford can carry their early from into this one we may see an upset and a first ever win at the DW.

Wigan Warriors 19 man squad

John Bateman, Joe Bretherton, Gregg Burke, Tony Clubb, Liam Farrell, Ben Flower, Anthony Gelling, Oliver Gildart, Nick Gregson, Dom Manfredi, Lee Mossop, Sean O’Loughlin, Sam Powell, Dan Sarginson, Matty Smith, Ryan Sutton, Taulima Tautai, Lewis Tierney, George Williams

Salford Red Devils 19 man squad

Justin Carney, Michael Dobson, Niall Evalds, Mark Flanagan, George Griffin, Josh Griffin, Greg Johnson, Josh Jones, Craig Kopzcak, Olsi Krasniqi, Ryan Lannon, Tommy Lee, Rob Lui, Ben Murdoch-Masila, Gareth O’Brien, Matt Sarsfield, Junior Sa’u, Logan Tomkins, Jordan Walne

 

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