Super League Grand Final preview: Leeds v Wigan

This epic clash will be the last time that Rhinos’ rugged veterans Jamie Peacock, Kylie Leuluai and Kevin Sinfield will wear the Leeds colours, and they will be keen to end their playing careers on a high.

But Wigan coach Shaun Wane has stated that he cares not for sentiment, only for victory, and that the wound of last year’s Grand Final defeat to St Helens is still rankling him.

Wane has recalled Anthony Gelling and Taulima Tautai returns from suspension, as the Warriors head into their third consecutive Grand Final.

Matt Bowen and Joe Burgess are expected to play their last games for Wigan before retirement, and leaving to join the Sydney Roosters, respectively.

Leeds (19-man squad): Hardaker, Briscoe, Watkins, Moon, Hall, McGuire, Burrow, Leuluai, Peacock, Ablett, Sinfield, Delaney, Achurch, Cuthbertson, Singleton, Keinhorst, Walters, Lilley, Garbutt.

Wigan (19-man squad):
Bateman, Bowen, Burgess, Clubb, Crosby, Farrell, Flower, Gelling, Gildart, Manfredi, McIlorum, Mossop, O’Loughlin, Patrick, Powell, Smith, Tautai, Tomkins, Williams.

Stats:

Kevin Sinfield holds the records for most appearances and wins as captain in a Super League Grand Final – having skippered Leeds on seven occasions (2004(W), 2005(L), 2007(W), 2008(W), 2009(W), 2011(W) and 2012(W).

2015 Rhinos squad members without an appearance in a Super League Grand Final: Mitch Achurch, Paul Aiton, Tom Briscoe, Adam Cuthbertson, Mitch Garbutt, Ashton Golding, Ash Handley, Jimmy Keinhorst, Jordan Lilley, Joel Moon, Rob Mulhern, Brad Singleton, Liam Sutcliffe, Josh Walters, Robbie Ward.

Leeds have used 28 players in this season’s Super League campaign, with Carl Ablett playing in all 31 regular season, Super 8s and play-off games.

Coach Brian McDermott takes charge of his third Super League Grand Final, having previously coached the Rhinos to victory in 2011 (v St Helens) and 2012 (v Warrington).

Jamie Peacock has the opportunity to set a new Grand Final appearance record on Saturday – in his final game before retirement.

Peacock has played in ten Old Trafford showpieces, a record he currently shares with Paul Wellens.

He already holds the record for most Super League Grand Final wins, with eight. He won with Bradford in 2001, 2003 and 2005 plus Leeds in 2007, 2008, 2009, 2011 and 2012. He was on the losing side for Bradford in 2002 and 2004.

2015 Warriors squad members without an appearance in a Super League Grand Final: Connor Farrell, Oliver Gildart, Ryan Hampshire, Dominic Manfredi, Larne Patrick, Ryan Sutton, Taulima Tautai.

Wigan have used 28 players in this season’s Super League campaign, but have no ever-presents in their squad.

Coach Shaun Wane takes charge of his third Super League Grand Final, having previously coached the Warriors to victory in 2013 (v Warrington) and in 2014’s defeat to St Helens.

Previous finals meetings:

Leeds and Wigan meet for the second time in a Super League Grand Final on Saturday, having previously contested the inaugural title decider in 1998.

Leeds have never beaten Wigan in a major final however, having previously lost the following games:

1983 John Player Trophy (15-4, at Elland Road)
1994 Challenge Cup (26-16, at Wembley)
1995 Challenge Cup (30-10, at Wembley)
1995 Premiership Final (69-12, at Old Trafford)
1998 Super League Grand Final (10-4, at Old Trafford)
2011 Challenge Cup (28-18, at Wembley)

Previous play-off meetings:

Wigan 22, Leeds 12 (SLQSF, 27/9/13)
Wigan 12, Leeds 13 (SLQSF, 28/9/12)
Leeds 6, Wigan 26 (SLQSF, 25/9/10)
Wigan 26, Leeds 27 (SLQPO, 12/9/10)
Leeds 18, Wigan 14 (SLFE, 26/9/08)
Leeds 36, Wigan 6 (SLFE, 5/10/07)
Leeds 40, Wigan 12 (SLFE, 8/10/04)
Leeds 22, Wigan 23 (SLFE, 10/10/03)
Wigan 41, Leeds 18 (SLESF, 4/10/02)
Leeds 4, Wigan 10 (SLGF, 24/10/98) (at Old Trafford, Manchester)
Wigan 17, Leeds 4 (SLQSF, 11/10/98)

Super League summary:

Leeds won 25 (includes wins in 2004, 2007, 2008, 2010 and 2012 play-offs)
Wigan won 34 (includes win in 1998 Grand Final and wins in 1998, 2002, 2003, 2010 & 2013 play-offs)
Four draws
Leeds highest score: 70-0 (H, 2005) (also widest margin)
Wigan highest score: 68-14 (H, 1996) (also widest margin)

Last 10 Meetings:

Leeds 25, Wigan 18 (SLS8-R2, 14/8/15)
Wigan 26, Leeds 24 (SLR21, 9/7/15)
Leeds 12, Wigan 27 (SLR16, 30/5/15) (at St James’ Park, Newcastle)
Leeds 26, Wigan 14 (SLR6, 20/3/15)
Wigan 21, Leeds 6 (SLR26, 5/9/14)
Leeds 14, Wigan 18 (SLR13, 17/5/14) (at Etihad Stadium, Manchester)
Leeds 28, Wigan 12 (SLR11, 2/5/14)
Wigan 22, Leeds 12 (SLQSF, 27/9/13)
Wigan 6, Leeds 20 (SLR27, 5/9/13)
Leeds 16, Wigan 20 (SLR16, 26/5/13) (at Etihad Stadium, Manchester)

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