With the top four super league places teams now confirmed and with only Wigan Warriors having a hope of beating St Helens to the top spot, the battle is on between Wigan, Warrington Wolves and Castleford Tigers for how will finish in second, third and fourth place spots and gain home advantage in the semi final games. With all four teams having 3 games left and a maximum of 6 points available Wigan are in pole position for the second home semi and currently sit in second place, 6 points behind leaders St Helens but only three points above third placed Castleford. Although the wolves sit in fourth spot, 5 points behind Wigan, should results go their way over the next few weeks they two could still snatch a home semi.
In order to do that they most first beat Wigan when they travel to the DW Stadium on Friday night in the game of the round. Both teams are in excellent form of late with Warrington posting a record 80 points past Hull FC two weeks ago before following that up by ending the Huddersfield’s giants hopes of breaking into the top four last weekend. Wigan Warriors on the other hand have recorded a 30-10 victory over league leaders St Helens before ending Wakefield Trinity’s slim hopes of a semi final shot last week.
This match up see’s the Warriors without influential skipper Sean O’Loughlin who has pulled up this week with a calf issue, while inform back rower Joe Greenwood has been handed a suspension by the RFL following an incident in last weeks match. This means head coach Shaun Wane has recalled prop forward Taulima Tautai and young back rower Liam Paisley in his side for this important match. The could also see the return of forgotten winger Dom Manfredi, who is again named in the squad for the second successive week after hoping to officially make his comeback last weekend, after being side lined since 2016 from a number of horrific knee injuries.
The visitors have also been forced into making a few changes, which means veteran backrower / prop forward Ben Westwood comes back into contention along with ex Castleford back rower Luis Johnson, who would be making his Warrington debut if he gets the nod on Friday.
Wigan Warriors (from):
Bateman, Clubb, Davies, Escare, Flower, Gildart, Hamlin, Isa, Leuluai, Manfredi, Navarrete, Paisley, Partington, Powell, Sarginson, Sutton, Tautai, Tomkins, Williams.
Warrington Wolves (from):
Atkins, Brown, Charnley, Clark, Goodwin, Hughes, Johnson, King, King, Lineham, Livett, Moran, Patton, Philbin, Pomeroy, Ratchford, Smith, Thompson, Westwood.