Grand Final preview
At Old Trafford, Saturday October 2, kick-off 6pm
Last Updated: 02/10/10 5:47pm
Cunningham (left) and Man of Steel Richards
There will be more than just bragging rights up for grabs when arch rivals St Helens and Wigan meet on Saturday to decide who will be crowned engage Super League champions for 2010.
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"It is fantastic to be back at Old Trafford for a second year for myself - but I feel it more for the players"
Mick Potter Quotes of the week
The top two at the end of the regular season have made it through the play-offs to contest a Grand Final of huge significance for both teams.
Saints are hoping to avoid an unprecedented fourth successive defeat in the showpiece fixture, having lost the last three finals to Leeds Rhinos.
While Old Trafford may not have been a happy hunting ground in recent years, they did manage to beat the Warriors in the 2000 Grand Final at the home of Manchester United.
Keiron Cunningham was in the St Helens team on that day and the veteran hooker will be hoping for a repeat result in his final game.
His club colleagues will be bidding to make sure that after 17 glorious seasons, the former Great Britain international goes out on a winning note.
However, Cunningham is not the only man who will be involved with Saints for the final time this weekend. Centre Matt Gidley will be returning to Australia after four years in England, while coach Mick Potter takes charge of his last game before moving on to Bradford.
"It is fantastic to be back at Old Trafford for a second year for myself - but I feel it more for the players," Potter said. "It is well deserved given how the semi-finals panned out.
"It is a testament to the hard work the players have put in all year and I happy we are here. We just need to do one more job."
Potter is unable to call upon Kyle Eastmond for his final game, the scrum-half having been ruled out with an ankle injury that he picked up in the 42-22 victory over Huddersfield last time out.
With Leon Pryce also missing, Matty Smith is certain to start in one of the half-back positions, particularly after impressing in his two play-off appearances since returning from a season-long loan spell with Salford - the club he will be joining on a permanent basis from next year.
Who will be his partner, however, is an issue that Potter will have to deal with. Utility back Jonny Lomax could be an option after recovering from a leg injury.
"We have got other options - we've got Chris Flannery, Jon Wilkin, Jonny Lomax, Gary Wheeler. There's a multitude of different options we can work with," Potter insisted. "As much as you lose one, I've got plan B, plan C and plan D ready to go."
Wigan, in contrast, have no injury worries following their impressive semi-final success over reigning champions Leeds at Headingley last Saturday.
Loose forward Sean O'Loughlin picked up a shoulder problem in that game but has been passed fit to take his place in an unchanged 19-man squad.
Warriors boss Michael Maguire could now name an unchanged line-up as he looks to win the title in his first year at the helm. The Cherry and Whites, once the dominant force in the northern hemisphere, have, surprisingly, not been crowned champions since winning the inaugural Grand Final in 1998.
Just like their opponents, Wigan will also be looking to give their experienced hooker the perfect send-off.
Mark Riddell has been released from the final year of his contract so he can return Down Under to be closer to his mother, who has cancer.
"This was definitely one of my goals when I came over here," the former Parramatta Eel said. "When I spoke to the club about coming it was about the opportunity to win trophies.
"It's finally come and I'm looking forward to it and hopefully putting in a good performance.
"This is the biggest game of my career - I've never played in a Grand Final before.
Wigan won the League Leaders' Shield for finishing top of the table at the end of the regular season. They now also boast the newly-crowned Man of Steel in winger Pat Richards, who was given the award at a gala dinner on Monday.
St. Helens squad: Wellens, Gardner, Gidley, Soliola, Meli, Cunningham, Graham, Puletua, Wilkin, Flannery, Roby, Hargreaves, Clough, Ashurst, Dixon, Lomax, Emmitt, Foster, Smith
Wigan squad: Roberts, Gleeson, Carmont, Richards, S. Tomkins, Leuluai, Fielden, Riddell, Coley, Hansen, J. Tomkins, S. O'Loughlin, Prescott, McIlorum, Paleaaesina, Deacon, Goulding, Farrell, Tuson.
First Utility Super League
Thu 23rd Apr
Wakefield Wildcats22 - 40Wigan Warriors
Fri 24th Apr
Hull FC4 - 24Huddersfield Giants
Leeds Rhinos10 - 29Warrington Wolves
St Helens34 - 16Widnes Vikings
Sat 25th Apr
Catalans Dragons32 - 24Hull K R
Sun 26th Apr
Salford Red Devils0 - 0Castleford Tigers
Thu 30th Apr
Huddersfield GiantsvsLeeds Rhinos
Fri 1st May
Hull FC0 - 0Salford Red Devils
St Helens0 - 0Wakefield Wildcats
Wigan WarriorsvsHull K R
Sun 3rd May
Warrington Wolves0 - 0Widnes Vikings
Castleford Tigers0 - 0Catalans Dragons
Thu 7th May
Hull K RvsWakefield Wildcats
Fri 8th May
Salford Red DevilsvsHuddersfield Giants
Wigan Warriors0 - 0Castleford Tigers
Sat 9th May
Catalans DragonsvsSt Helens
Sun 10th May
Warrington Wolves0 - 0Hull FC
Widnes Vikings0 - 0Leeds Rhinos
Thu 21st May
Castleford TigersvsHuddersfield Giants
Fri 22nd May
Hull FC0 - 0St Helens
Leeds Rhinos0 - 0Hull K R
Salford Red Devils0 - 0Warrington Wolves
Sat 23rd May
Catalans DragonsvsWigan Warriors
Sun 24th May
Wakefield Wildcats0 - 0Widnes Vikings
Sat 30th May
Salford Red DevilsvsWidnes Vikings
Hull FCvsHull K R
Leeds RhinosvsWigan Warriors
Sun 31st May
Catalans DragonsvsHuddersfield Giants
St HelensvsWarrington Wolves
Castleford TigersvsWakefield Wildcats
Thu 4th Jun
Widnes VikingsvsHull FC
Fri 5th Jun
St Helens0 - 0Salford Red Devils
Sun 7th Jun
Huddersfield Giants0 - 0Wigan Warriors
Hull K R0 - 0Castleford Tigers
Wakefield Wildcats0 - 0Leeds Rhinos
Warrington Wolves0 - 0Catalans Dragons
Thu 11th Jun
Leeds RhinosvsCastleford Tigers
Fri 12th Jun
St HelensvsWigan Warriors
Sat 13th Jun
Catalans DragonsvsHull FC
Sun 14th Jun
Huddersfield Giants0 - 0Warrington Wolves
Hull K R0 - 0Widnes Vikings
Wakefield Wildcats0 - 0Salford Red Devils
Thu 18th Jun
Castleford TigersvsSt Helens
Fri 19th Jun
Wigan Warriors0 - 0Salford Red Devils
Sat 20th Jun
Catalans DragonsvsWakefield Wildcats
Sun 21st Jun
Hull K R0 - 0Warrington Wolves
Leeds Rhinos0 - 0Hull FC
Widnes Vikings0 - 0Huddersfield Giants
Grand Final 2010
Matty Smith is determined to make the most of his unexpected chance to play for St Helens in the Super League Grand Final.
Ellery Hanley told Sky Sports News that Saturday's Grand final will be the biggest game of the decade.
Paul Deacon says running out for Wigan in Saturday's Grand Final will be "special".