Wigan Warriors’ new recruit Brett Finch has given his new team-mates the inside track on Australian premiers St George Illawarra Dragons as the Engage Super League champions prepare their bid for global glory in the PROBIZ World Club Challenge.
Finch, a two-time winner of world club titles, will miss the titanic battle between the Super League and NRL champions on Sunday February 27 with a neck injury but has lent his knowledge of Australia’s best team to Wigan coach Michael Maguire and the rest of the Warriors squad.
Finch played under Maguire while at Melbourne and he believes Maguire’s NRL expertise will be of massive benefit come February 27.
“Michael knows a lot about St George,” said Finch, who clinched world club crowns with Melbourne in 2010 and Sydney Roosters in 2003. “He’s well aware of their key players and he’ll be showing the boys plenty of video footage to make them aware of the threats St George have and how to deal with them.
“I’ve been more than happy to share what I know with the coaching staff and the team. St George will have their own plans in place to prepare for Wigan and there’ll be no excuses from either side come game time I’m sure.
“We had an intense friendly against Warrington in pre season and a big game against St Helens over Millennium Magic, so our preparation for the World Club Challenge will be good.”
The Dragons have had to contend with heatwave conditions in their preparations Down Under but Finch believes they will have little trouble dealing with the depths of an English winter when they fly into London on Sunday.
“Certainly coming over from Australia to a different climate and different conditions is tough but the Dragons players will handle it,” he said. “Getting a win is a great achievement and something the Australians take very seriously.
“It’s also very important to the English clubs and certainly for Wigan. Wigan have a great history in the competition having defeated Brisbane and also Manly in the past and the players are all looking forward to adding to that when they play St George.”
Finch had hoped to make his debut for the Warriors against St George but it was revealed that the neck injury which has ruled him out of action since he joined Wigan is worse than first expected and the half-back will have to wait a few weeks longer to make his first appearance in a Warriors shirt.
“It’s a little frustrating as the timings not great for me personally but injuries are part of the game,” said Finch.
“It’s going to be at least two weeks until I’m back in training, obviously I like to be back sooner but I’m happy to be on the road to recovery.”
Tickets for the PROBIZ World Club Challenge at DW Stadium on Sunday February 27 (7.15pm) are available from just £20 (£10 concessions). A family ticket giving entry to two adults and two children costs just £40. Tickets are available from the RFL Ticket Office on 0844 856 11 13, by visiting www.rugbyleaguetickets.co.uk and from the Wigan Warriors Ticket Office in person or by calling 0871 66 33 552.