Wigan Warriors duo back in contention for St Helens derby, says Matt Peet

Drew Darbyshire
Jai Field and Willie Isa Wigan Warriors Alamy

Jai Field (left) and Willie Isa (right) in action for Wigan in 2024

Wigan Warriors coach Matt Peet has confirmed Jai Field and Willie Isa are back in contention for the Good Friday derby against St Helens.

Full-back Field and forward Isa missed last week’s 44-18 victory over Sheffield Eagles in the Challenge Cup sixth round. Isa was replaced by promising forward Junior Nsemba and full-back Field rested due to a ‘slight knock’.

But speaking at Monday’s joint press event at the Totally Wicked Stadium, Peet says both Field and Isa are back in contention to play in Friday’s sold-out derby.

The Warriors head into the Round 6 clash with a perfect start to 2024, winning their opening four Super League games as well as the World Club Challenge. Meanwhile, the Saints have only lost one of their five games – a surprise home defeat to Salford Red Devils.

“It’s a completely unique fixture,” Peet said.

“People of rugby league understand it, people of the two towns understand it.

“Whether both teams are flying high or having indifferent seasons, it’s very much an occasion.

“It sells itself because of the history behind it and it never fails to deliver and that’s a credit to the players.

“It’s an exciting one, it’s one of the showpiece games of the season. It’s one that you look forward to as soon as the fixtures come out.”

PREVIEW: Wigan Warriors’ Luke Thompson on Good Friday derby against former club St Helens

Wigan Warriors coach Matt Peet on Good Friday preparations

A crowd of around 18,000 will be present at the Totally Wicked Stadium for the traditional Good Friday derby – but Peet says his side will just approach the game pretty much like any other in the build-up.

“I think that side of it (the preparation) is not too different from a regular game,” he said.

“The lads have their preparation and the training sessions look very similar.

“But I think the energy around the build up, the media, the fans, the excitement, for the players it will start to build internally for them leading up to walking out at the Totally Wicked Stadium in front of a packed stadium.

“Both teams are used to playing in these kinds of games, big games, play-off games, that’s what makes them top players in both teams.

“They can handle the occasion well, almost put it to the back of their mind and play their best game.”

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