Wigan Warriors reaping the rewards after reconnecting with the town

Drew Darbyshire
Liam Marshall Wigan Warriors SWpix

Photo: Allan McKenzie/SWpix

Wigan Warriors winger Liam Marshall believes the team are starting to benefit from some cultural changes they made at the start of pre-season.

The Warriors are enjoying a fine season under head coach Matt Peet, who is eyeing the double in his first year at the helm having already wrapped up the Challenge Cup.

Wigan, as a team, made several cultural changes over the off-season. They now have longer breakfasts so they can get to know each other properly; and integrate with groups they wouldn’t normally mix with.

Talking about the mentality shift, Marshall told Love Rugby League: “Coming into pre-season you want to work hard and get your rugby right. But the big thing for us, which we spoke about, was reconnecting with the town of Wigan and also making close bonds with the lads.

“I think at work you can tend to speak to the same people or sort of gravitate to little groups; like your edges or lads your age. But we do things like have our breakfasts for longer and we have topics that we talk about or we sit with different people.

“At first it felt a bit forced but now it is just standard.

“At first it feels a bit corny but as the season goes on it goes a long way.

“Things like wanting to win for your mate. It is the same with the town, you see the similar faces coming to the games. They want to support you as much as you want to win for them so it’s massive.

“It has gone a long way and we want it to be for a long time ahead. If we are playing well on the field we still want to have that connection with the fans.

“Hopefully the things we are embedding now will be beneficial five or 10 years in the future.”

PEET: We’re building something special here

This town is built on hard work, says Wigan Warriors boss

Peet, a born and bred Wiganer, is proud that he has got a team doing all that they can to give success back to the town.

He said: “You don’t just want a good group of players, you want a group that stands for something.

“You want a group of people who want to play for each other, for their families and the town.

“This town and the families of these lads are built on work ethic and doing things for your mates.

“Our town is built on hard work so it makes me proud.”

PODCAST: Alex Walmsley on turning down NRL, World Cup pressure & John Kear influence

FOLLOW: Keep up with all the latest on the Love Rugby League mobile app and podcast