St Helens vs. Wigan takes place this evening in the 2014 Super League Grand Final.
The game takes place at Old Trafford and is scheduled to start at 18:00 BST.
St Helens and Wigan Warriors will walk out at the Theatre of Dreams this evening to be crowned the 2014 Super League Champions.
Wigan Warriors, who are the defending champions secured an immediate return to Old Trafford with a thrilling 16-12 victory over Warrington Wolves last week, when Wigan’s teenage winger Joe Burgess grabbed the winning try in the 79th minute.
St Helens reached the Grand Final with an equally exciting 30-12 victory on Thursday evening and as the League Leaders will be the ‘home’ team on Saturday.
Saturday will be the third time that St Helens and Wigan have met in the Super League Grand Final with honours so far shared – a Chris Joynt-inspired Saints defeated the Warriors 29-16 in 2000 and Thomas Leuluai stood tall for Wigan as they took the title with a 22-10 victory over St Helens in 2010.
St Helens forward Louie McCarthy-Scarsbrook, who was unlucky to miss out on England selection for the Four Nations, believes his team are more than capable of shocking Wigan and winning the title for the first time since 2006.
Saints may have finished top of the ladder after the weekly rounds but come into this final with a number of key personnel missing through injury. This should not be an excuse though because plenty of other teams, Wigan included, have suffered serious injuries throughout the season and have had to make do with young players in their squad.
They are still without Australian half-back Luke Walsh and the influential Jonny Lomax but LMS is still confident the guys filling in they will give Wigan a game.
He said: “Because of the injuries we have had, the coaching staff had to come up with a new way of playing, which is never easy, but everyone has pitched in and really thrown themselves into their new roles.
“We have gone through so much together this year and a really strong bond has developed throughout the squad. We know what we’re capable of and, just as importantly, a lot of the lads have been here before and know what Grand Final week is all about.”
A lot of people in the game are writing St Helens off because of their injury problems and that should not be the case. They have enough quality players in their squad to cause anyone problems, but many feel that Wigan have the better squad and that is why they are being backed. You cannot do much about injuries and the sooner people realise that the better.
Another player relishing walking out at Old Trafford again is Wigan second row forward Joel Tomkins who returned to the code earlier in the season from rugby union side Saracens.
Joel Tomkins’ return to rugby league could not have come at a better time, with the Wigan Warriors second row set to feature in the 2014 First Utility Super League Grand Final against St Helens at Old Trafford on Saturday (6.00pm) just months after returning to the game.
He said: “This is like a fairytale for me, especially if we get the win on Saturday. I’m so lucky that the lads have done the work throughout the season and I’m grateful that I came into a team who were in such a good position. I’m really looking forward to Saturday.
“The goal since day one has been to make the final. Last season and the final in 2010 were fantastic achievements and this really is what it’s all about, it doesn’t count for anything if we don’t get the win at the weekend.
“Saints have had a fantastic season and they deserve to be in the final. Some people wrote them off in the play-offs but they went out there and they got the results every time, which is a massive credit to them.
“We are in good from too and we’ll go into the match with confidence. It’s going to be a massive game, the final in 2010 against Saints was a great occasion and I know that this year will be the same, I won’t be letting it pass me by.
“To be facing Saints again, it’s a local derby, the atmosphere will be unreal and it will be a huge game not only for the players but for all of the supporters too.”
The draw after 80 minutes is on offer at 22/1.
Grand Final Squad Lists:
St Helens Squad:
2. Tommy Makinson, 3. Jordan Turner, 4. Josh Jones, 5. Adam Swift, 6. Lance Hohaia, 8. Mose Masoe, 9. James Roby, 10. Louie McCarthy-Scarsbrook, 11. Sia Soliola, 13. Willie Manu, 14. Anthony Laffranchi, 15. Mark Flanagan, 16. Kyle Amor, 17. Paul Wellens, 18. Alex Walmsley, 22. Mark Percival, 26. Matty Dawson, 27. Greg Richards, 28. Luke Thompson.
1. Matty Bowen, 2. Josh Charnley, 5. Anthony Gelling, 6. Blake Green, 7. Matty Smith, 8. Scott Taylor, 9. Michael McIlorum, 10. Ben Flower, 11. Joel Tomkins, 12. Liam Farrell, 13. Sean O’Loughlin, 14. Jack Hughes, 17. Dominic Crosby, 19. Sam Powell, 22. Eddy Pettybourne, 23. Dan Sarginson, 24. Tony Clubb, 25. John Bateman, 32. Joe Burgess.