Challenge Cup Final Preview with Shaun Wane

Wigan coach Shaun Wane is in typically bullish mood ahead of what could be a 20th Challenge Cup win for the Warriors.

The Warriors boss is confident of victory at Wembley on Saturday afternoon, especially with many of his big names back from injury in recent weeks.

How do you reverse two defeats to Hull this year?

“I think we’re a different team at the minute, with not as many injuries as we’ve had.

“We’ve had lots of practice, consistent practice, I’ve got some big, big names back who are practicing consistently well, that’ll have a big bearing on the game.

“When we played Hull we were busted, so they’re going to see a different team, and hopefully we’ll have enough in the tank to get the win on Saturday.”

But who does he see as a threat on Saturday? “Gareth Ellis is always going to be a threat, it’s his last cup final so he’ll want a big performance, so our defence will have to be right with him.

“I think Danny Houghton is the one that we always look at, he’s always going to be a threat at dummy half.

“But on the other side of it, I’m hoping Michael McIlorum and Sam Powell will be a threat as well.

“On our day we can challenge anybody, we just need to make sure that we just need to make sure that we stick to our process that can get us the win, and we don’t get carried away with the occasion.

“We have to make sure that Hull have to defend us, and I’m aware that they’ve got enough talent in their team.”

Having beaten Hull at Wembley in 2013, does that have any bearing on this game? “No, because it’s two different teams and hopefully the conditions won’t be as poor as then.

“This is a one-off game, the personnel is totally different, and I’m very, very confident that if we can really challenge them, we can put them under pressure.

“We’ve got a game plan that we can unpick them with and if we stick to that, we can get the win.

“I understand there’s loads of pressure on us because they’re a great side, with no injuries.”

Is Wigan’s Challenge Cup record an inspiration? “It’s massive, I won’t shy away from it, or our players, this is massive for our town.

“We have a great affinity with going down to London, and winning this Challenge Cup.

“The names are in the history books in Wigan, they did it in 2013, they want to do it again, against a very good Hull team.”

How important is it to put on a show for the Australian TV audience? “I know the people in Wollongong have been watching our games.

“When you get a strong Wigan team, and a strong Hull team, it’s a great game to watch, unfortunately we’ve not had that this year.

“I’ve got a strong team, it’s not my strongest, but I’m more than happy with it, and if they tune in from Australia on Saturday morning, they’ll see a great game.”

Will he disregard Hull’s game last Friday? “100 per cent, they were poor on the weekend, and we were very, very good, but last weekend has nothing to do with it.

“It’s a different, sudden death game, and we need to perform under huge pressure, but they need to perform as well, and if they can, then who knows what can happen?”

Does it feel different for Wigan being the challengers this time? “Yeah, definitely, they’ve got no injuries, they’re doing great in the competition.

“We know we need to challenge them, so even though we won it in 2013, they were great last year when they won the game at Wembley.

“They were great this year in the semi-final against Leeds, and they were great in the quarter final against Castleford, so they’re odds-on favourites to win the game.

“But hopefully we can turn up, and we can challenge them on Saturday.”

Is revenge in the air after the semi-final last year? “No, I’m hell-bent on seeing the best of us on Saturday.

“Hopefully if we stick to the plan this week, and practice well, then we’ll be good. I’m looking forward to seeing how it pans out, and hopefully you’ll see a fantastic game.”

How important are the fans? “There’s a lot going down from Hull, there’s going to be a lot from Wigan.

“It’s going to be a great atmosphere, but they’re used to going down to Wembley, they’re going to get behind us, and they’re going to be a massive factor.

“Win or lose I know they always get behind us, both home and away.”

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