History will be made on Saturday when Wigan Warriors and Hull FC go face-to-face in the first ever Super League game outside of Europe.
The clash will take place on Saturday at the WIN Stadium, Wollongong, Australia, 8:45am (UK) kick-off. The winner will earn two Super League points as well as lifting the Kenny Sterling Shield.
And the fixture is part of a three-game tour of New South Wales, with Wigan facing South Sydney Rabbitohs and Hull taking on St George Illawarra Dragons at the ANZ Stadium on Saturday 17 February.
Both teams had fantastic starts to the 2018 season last week. The Warriors played some fine attacking rugby to ease past Salford Red Devils 40-12 away from home, with Oliver Gildart and Liam Marshall both crossing for two tries each.
And Wigan coach Shaun Wane praised the club for doing something different in going on a New South Wales tour.
He told loverugbyleague.com: “Playing South Sydney and Hull in Australia – if I got offered that (when I was playing) then I would have loved to do it.
“We go over there for 18 days and the lads can great proper trained into where it is nice and warm and where the ground is firm to it is a win-win for us.”
It wasn’t the best first half for Hull, though. They were 12-10 down at the break against Huddersfield Giants, but they came out firing in the second half to score 28 unanswered points to secure a 38-12 victory.
And FC utility-man Jake Connor is aiming to back up the opening round win with another on Saturday.
He told hullfc.com: “It’s massive for us to be able to get off to a good start.
“Winning against Wigan on Saturday would be huge. At this early stage in the season, you just want to make sure that you can pick up as many points as possible.”
Wigan boss Wane has brought captain Sean O’Loughlin and Joe Burgess back into the 19-man squad after the pair recovered from calf and thigh injuries respectively. The duo replace Gabe Hamlin and Liam Forsyth in the squad.
Hull FC head coach Lee Radford has made one change to his side that beat Huddersfield Giants last week, with Liam Watts returning from injury and replaces youngster Brad Fash.
Wigan 19-man squad: Burgess, Clubb, T Davies, Escaré, Farrell, Flower, Gildart, Isa, Leuluai, Marshall, Nuuausala, O’Loughlin, Powell, Sarginson, Sutton, Tautai, J Tomkins, S Tomkins, Williams.
Hull FC 19-man squad: Shaul, Faraimo, Griffin, Talanoa, Kelly, Sneyd, Taylor, Houghton, Watts, Hadley, Minichiello, Bowden, Connor, Abdull, Washbrook, Manu, Paea, Turgut, Matongo.
Last ten meetings:
Hull FC 22, Wigan 30 (SLS8-R5, 8/9/17)
Hull FC 18, Wigan 14 (CCF, 26/8/17)
(at Wembley Stadium)
Hull FC 39, Wigan 26 (SLR17, 3/6/17)
Wigan 20, Hull FC 22 (SLR6, 24/3/17)
Wigan 28, Hull FC 18 (SLSF, 30/9/16)
Hull FC 12, Wigan 18 (SLS8-R5, 9/9/16)
Hull FC 16, Wigan 12 (CCSF, 29/7/16)
(at Keepmoat Stadium, Doncaster)
Wigan 16, Hull FC 30 (SLR14, 13/5/16)
Hull FC 25, Wigan 26 (SLR4, 4/3/16)
Wigan 30, Hull FC 24 (SLS8-R5, 11/9/15)
Super League summary:
Wigan won 38 (includes wins in 2001, 2007 and 2016 play-offs)
Hull FC won 11
Wigan highest score: 66-6 (H, 2008) (also widest margin)
Hull FC highest score: 54-12 (H, 2006) (also widest margin)
Who do you think will lift the Kenny Sterling Shield? Let us know in the comments below.