St. Helens seek to wrap up the league on derby day in Wigan


Wigan play host to St. Helens on Friday night, who are looking to wrap up the league leaders shield on rival territory.

One of, if not the most famous rivalry in English rugby league history, is set to be played for a fourth time in 2022 this weekend. St. Helens are six points ahead of Wigan and if they avoid defeat at the DW, they’ll wrap up a first league leaders shield since 2019.

Wigan can also seal 2nd place in the league if they win and other results go their way.

Not much needs to be said about the context of the fixture. No matter when or where it is played, even if nothing but pride is on the line, it is always a huge game. On this occasion however, the visitors will look to seal the title on their fierce rival’s home patch whilst Wigan will be desperate to stop this from happening.

The Saints have made light-work of the competition this year, winning 20 of their 24 league games so far. But they travel to a Wigan side that have also been a class above the rest of the field on many occasions and haven’t lost at home in 2022.

This rivalry always delivers, with both sides just giving that extra bit of effort and determination to topple their opponents. It has already been played three times this year with the bragging rights currently going to St. Helens as they have won two. Both league fixtures went the Saints’ way and the home side will be confident that they can repeat that result.

It is also worth noting that if this fixture didn’t already have enough riding on it, it is also the 100th meeting between the two clubs in all competitions in the Super League era.

In those 99 games already played across 26 years, Wigan have won 45, Saints have won 50 and four were draws. The two sides have always been close so it is no wonder as to why it is so often branded as the biggest derby in rugby.

As for the team news, the Warriors have made just the one change to the 21 named against Toulouse. Mike Cooper returns from suspension to replace James McDonnell.

Coach Matty Peet is expected to make a number of changes to his starting 17 though, as numerous players were rested in last weeks demolishment of Toulouse.

The visitors will travel without Will Hopoate and Taylor Pemberton, as they are replaced by Morgan Knowles and Curtis Sironen.

The stage is set for Friday night to be an absolute classic. Whether you’re inside the ground or watching from home, expect a fiercely contested game of rugby.

It’s derby day with a title and pride on the line, the biggest game of the 2022 calendar so far. Live on Sky Sports Arena, Friday evening from 7:30pm, 8pm kick-off.

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