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
Tue 30th Jun
Hull K RvsSalford Red Devils
Wed 1st Jul
Wakefield WildcatsvsHull FC
Thu 2nd Jul
Warrington WolvesvsWigan Warriors
Fri 3rd Jul
Leeds RhinosvsSt Helens
Sun 5th Jul
Huddersfield Giants0 - 0Hull K R
Hull FC0 - 0Wakefield Wildcats
Salford Red Devils0 - 0Catalans Dragons
Castleford Tigers0 - 0Widnes Vikings
Thu 9th Jul
Wigan WarriorsvsLeeds Rhinos
Fri 10th Jul
St Helens0 - 0Huddersfield Giants
Sun 12th Jul
Hull FC0 - 0Castleford Tigers
Salford Red Devils0 - 0Hull K R
Wakefield Wildcats0 - 0Warrington Wolves
Widnes Vikings0 - 0Catalans Dragons
Thu 16th Jul
Warrington WolvesvsSt Helens
Fri 17th Jul
Hull K RvsHull FC
Leeds Rhinos0 - 0Salford Red Devils
Wigan Warriors0 - 0Widnes Vikings
Sat 18th Jul
Catalans DragonsvsHuddersfield Giants
Sun 19th Jul
Wakefield Wildcats0 - 0Castleford Tigers
Thu 23rd Jul
Hull FCvsWigan Warriors
Fri 24th Jul
St Helens0 - 0Hull K R
Sun 26th Jul
Huddersfield Giants0 - 0Wakefield Wildcats
Leeds Rhinos0 - 0Catalans Dragons
Widnes Vikings0 - 0Salford Red Devils
Castleford Tigers0 - 0Warrington Wolves
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".