Loanee returns to Wigan as Matt Peet provides update

Drew Darbyshire
Matt Peet Wigan Warriors SWpix

Photo: Allan McKenzie/SWpix

Wigan have recalled young forward Joe Shorrocks from his loan at Leigh ahead of their derby on Thursday, billed as the Battle of the Borough.

The 23-year-old has made four appearances for the Leopards since initially joining on a two-week loan back in February.

The Warriors face the Leopards in a televised derby clash at the Leigh Sports Village on Thursday, so Shorrocks won’t be pulling on a Leigh shirt this week.

Peet said: “He is back with Wigan. We’ll found out tomorrow whether he is in the 21 or not.”

Wigan and Leigh both head into the derby with a clean bill of health.

Peet said: “We’ve been quite fortunate recently so there won’t be too many changes.”

Leigh coach Adrian Lam added: “We’ve been okay in that area over the last couple of weeks so we’ll be roughly around the same.

“We won’t train much this week, there will only be one captain’s run session so it is a short turnaround.”

Leigh confident of record attendance

Leigh are confident of bringing in their highest ever attendance for a Super League match.

The club’s Super League attendance record is 9,012, which came in 2017 against St Helens. Leopards owner Derek Beaumont is confident of surpassing that this week.

Beaumont said: “I’m pretty sure it will do that. I’ve had more texts today for a ticket in the North Stand than I’ve had all week for everything on my phone.

“I think a lot of people were trying to change the habits here. From just talking to Rads (Kris Radlinski, Wigan chief executive), I won’t giving any numbers away, but they’ve got heavy sales already for a game with St Helens because the demand over history is there.

“With ourselves, people used to come here on the day and buy a ticket, there was never any pressure in it being sold out so for North Stand to sell out a week before the game is significant.

“Wigan have almost their end out and we’re well into the East Stand, so I’m pretty certain we’ll be 9,012 but I’d love to see every seat taken.”

Matt Peet delighted to have Leigh derby back

The newly-promoted Leopards have enjoyed an impressive start to life back in Super League, winning three from six.

And Peet is happy to have their derby back in the top flight this year.

He said: “It’s fantastic. It’s a game that we all enjoy and one that both clubs would have looked for when the fixture list came out.

“Obviously the rivalry has been sat on the back-burner for a little while but we’ve got a chance to reignite it.

“I think it’s particularly exciting because of the quality that Leigh have got. I think there have been games in the past between the two clubs where Leigh were punching above their weight but I don’t think that’s the case at the moment.

“With the staff that Derek and Adrian have put together, we know we’ve got our hands full, not just in the rivalry and the atmosphere, but they are a quality rugby league team as well so it should be a fantastic game for everyone involved.

“Rivalry aside, I think this will be an excellent game between the two sets of players on the field.

“There’s plenty of friends and ex-colleagues in both camps, Zak (Hardaker), PJ (Paul Johnson) is over there as well, but Lammy in particular is someone I enjoyed working with and we remain good friends and he is someone I will forever be indebted to for the trust he put in me. Hopefully we can come out on top but there is plenty of respect between the two clubs.”

Adrian Lam excited to face former club Wigan

Adrian Lam Leigh Leopards News Images
Photo: Steve Flynn/News Images

Lam was in charge of Wigan between 2019-21, guiding the club the League Leaders’ Shield in 2020 and the Super League Grand Final in the same season.

The Papua New Guinean is looking forward to facing his former club on Thursday night.

He said: “I played for Wigan at one stage and I remember coming to Leigh and the talk between not only the players, but the supporters. The love-hate relationship within the borough is building nicely as the game on Sky on Thursday night comes.

“It is great for rugby league as well to see that rivalry. Wigan have had that rivalry with Saints forever but I think this rivalry is as tough and as close, so we’re looking forward to it.

“I still live in Wigan as well, so I have to be careful in what I say and what I do! I obviously played for Wigan and I’ll always be indebted to the club for that opportunity but my time here at Leigh has been unbelievable for my development as a coach.

“The relationships we are creating here has been a really important time of my life. In regards to the journey our club is on this season after what we did last year, it is just a stepping stone. We’ve got a lot of goals ahead of us about where we want to be so to be able to play a great club like Wigan, we’re all excited.

“When you look at the numbers and the tickets sold and the performance, it can potentially break our home ground attendance record and what a great club to do it against.”

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