Super League preview: Wigan Warriors v Leeds Rhinos
By Sam Drury. Last Updated: 05/09/13 10:05am
Wigan take on Leeds at the DW Stadium on Thursday as the sides vie for third place in the Super League table.
The Warriors currently hold that spot courtesy of a superior points difference but the Rhinos know a win would allow them to leapfrog Thursday's hosts.
A win or a draw would be enough for the home side to take third and set up a play-off meeting at Warrington and leave Leeds facing the prospect of a trip to leaders Huddersfield in week one of the play-offs.
Despite beating Hull FC to win the Challenge Cup at Wembley last month, Wigan have been in indifferent form of late in Super League and lost to Hull last time out, 34-33, albeit with a much-changed side.
By contrast, the Rhinos are flying and have won five of their last six, including a 20-12 victory over Catalan Dragons last Friday.
Wigan boss Shaun Wane welcomes back a host of key players including Sam Tomkins, Pat Richards and Liam Farrell after they missed the Super League encounter with Hull through a mix of minor injuries and being rested.
Captain Sean O'Loughlin does not make the 19, however, with a calf injury ruling him out. The problem is expected to sideline him for a month.
Sam Tomkins confirmed that he was fit for the Hull game and that his omission was to ensure that he was in peak condition for the play-offs after spells on the sidelines this campaign.
"I was fit last week," he said. "We had a tough game at Wembley. We had a couple recovering from knocks and we're getting ready for play-offs.
"A lot of young lads deserved a chance and the way they played against Hull shows the future is looking bright for Wigan.
"I'm 100 per cent fit now. I've had a couple of knocks this season which have kept me out and that's not normal for me. I only normally miss a handful of games."
Meanwhile, Leeds pair Brett Delaney and Jamie Jones-Buchanan will hope to make their long awaited returns from injury after being named in the squad, Mitch Achurch retains his place but Richard Moore misses out.
Ryan Bailey is missing after being hit with a one-match ban for punching Dragons winger Damien Blanch in last Friday's clash at Headingley, youngster Alex Foster takes his place.
Wigan Warriors: Charnley, Crosby, Farrell, Flower, Gelling, Goulding, Green, Hansen, McIlorum, Mossop, A. Powell, S. Powell, Richards, Smith, Taylor, Thornley, S. Tomkins, L. Tomkins, Tuson.
Leeds Rhinos: Hardaker, Jones-Bishop, Watkins, Moon, Hall, McGuire, Burrow, Leuluai, Peacock, Jones-Buchanan, Ablett, Sinfield, Delaney, Foster, Kirke, Clarkson, Achurch, Singleton, Sutcliffe.
First Utility Super League
Tue 30th Jun
Hull K R34 - 28Salford Red Devils
Wed 1st Jul
Wakefield Wildcats26 - 16Hull FC
Thu 2nd Jul
Warrington Wolves17 - 6Wigan 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
Super League 2013, round 27
London coach Tony Rea was pleased to see his side's character shining through at the end of another tough season.
Wakefield head coach Richard Agar was delighted after the Wildcats edged the local derby with Castleford 36-32.
A last-minute Liam Kay try earned Wakefield a 36-32 victory over Castleford in a last-day derby classic at Belle Vue.
- Broncos buck the trend
- Smith boosted by defiance
- Dureau miss hits Dragons hopes
- Raging Bulls flatten Giants
- Brown ready for play-offs
- Saints sweep aside sorry Hull
- Vikings rally to flatten Reds
- Tigers v Wildcats: Teams
- Hull KR v Broncos: Teams
- Dragons v Wolves: Teams
- Bulls v Giants: Teams
- Wigan, Leeds set for decider
- City Reds v Vikings: Teams
- Hull FC v Saints: Teams