Super League: Wigan receive timely boost by training with Bath during free week
Last Updated: 21/08/14 8:39am
Wigan Warriors practice at the stately surroundings of Bath’s training ground and give them game while they’re there
Wigan have received a timely end-of-season boost which they hope will spur them on in the defence of their Super League crown.
Shaun Wane’s men have made the most of their week off from league duty due to the Tetley's Challenge Cup final by taking the chance to enjoy some cross-code training with Aviva Premiership side Bath.
The two sides are at different stages of their season – Wigan have just three fixtures left of their regular season remaining while Bath will kick-off their Premiership campaign away to Sale Sharks in early September.
But Wane was quick to accept an invite from Bath boss Mike Ford to do some work with the union team, believing it can spur his Warriors on as the season enters a crucial phase.
"For us it has been something a bit different and has given us something extra which I hope can help spur us on as we look to finish the season strongly and defend our Super League title."
The Wigan head coach said: "We'd have liked to have been playing this weekend but unfortunately we are out of the Challenge Cup so when Mike offered us the chance to come down here it was one we couldn't turn down.
"Mike and I played together back when we were both at Wigan so it was an easy conversation to have. Mike has his thoughts on how he would like Bath to play rugby next season and I take it as a compliment that he contacted me to ask if we could come down.
“For us it has been something a bit different and has given us something extra which I hope can help spur us on as we look to finish the season strongly and defend our Super League title.
"I'd like to thank Mike and everyone at Bath for their hospitality throughout our time here."
Bath head coach Ford - a former Great Britain rugby league international - said both codes can learn a lot from each other.
“Obviously I come from a league background, and started my career at Wigan, so knew the various ways in which this couple of days of joint training could help us prepare for the new season,” he said.
"Pre-season has been a tough eight weeks or so, so it has been really good for us to be able to give the players something new to think about, a fresh way of looking at things, and a different contest in training. Being able to have players other than our own squad to run against has been really beneficial as we look to the Sale game in September.
“Wigan have been brilliant, and challenged us in exactly the way I intended. They are a very smart side, and Shaun has done a fantastic job with them. I’d like to thank him and his squad, and hope this relationship can continue in the future.”