May 10th, 2019

Challenge Cup Preview: Wire v Wigan


Warrington welcome old rivals Wigan Warriors to The Halliwell Jones Stadium this Sunday in the Sixth Round of the Coral Challenge Cup, 2.15pm.

Both teams head into the game in good form having won their last three matches in the Betfred Super League.

The Challenge Cup presents a different challenge however and with a place in the competition’s quarter-finals at stake both teams will need to be at their best in order to progress to the last eight.

Sunday’s visitors are the competition’s most successful club having lifted the iconic trophy on 19 occasions.

The two teams met in the quarter-final stage last season where Warrington put in a dominant display to ease past their rivals 23-0.

The road to Wembley starts here for two of Rugby League’s most iconic clubs in the sport’s most prestigious knockout competition.

Squad news

Ben Murdoch-Masila replaces Bennie Westwood in the only change to the 19-man match day squad that beat Castleford last week.

Wire squad: Sitaleki Akauola, Ryan Atkins, Blake Austin, Josh Charnley, Daryl Clark, Jason Clark, Mike Cooper, Ben Currie, Matt Davis, Bryson Goodwin, Chris Hill, Jack Hughes, Toby King, Harvey Livett, Ben Murdoch-Masila, Declan Patton, Joe Philbin, Stefan Ratchford, Lama Tasi.

Danger men

Willie Isa has emerged as one of Wigan’s most consistent performers this season.

The forward has made 919 metres with the ball in hand so far in 2019 and has made the highest number of tackles for the club with 483.

Zak Hardaker has begun to find his feet at the Warriors and is putting in some impressive displays.

The full-back is the club’s biggest metre maker with 1500 as well as crossing for three tries and setting up four.

Oliver Gildart has assisted eight tries in 2019 as well as crossing the whitewash himself on four occasions.

The centre is the club’s biggest metre maker and fourth in Super League with 1749.

Man in the middle

James Child will officiate Sunday’s clash with Robert Hicks the video referee.

Words from the boss

Steve Price: “I was really proud of the guys last week at Castleford. It was a good performance and we always felt we were in control of the game.

“We have had a nine-day turnaround heading into Sunday’s game which came at the right time for us.

“Warrington Wigan games are always brutal and we expect nothing different on Sunday. They are coming to our pitch so hopefully our supporters will be behind the boys in force.”

Player’s perspective

Jack Hughes: “When your first Cup week is against Wigan you know it’s big.

“You only get one shot as there’s no next week in the Cup. There is no extra motivation needed as it speaks for itself. The boys are ready to go.”

Daryl Clark: “To get to the final and win the cup you’ve got to beat the best teams. It’s knockout rugby. You only get one chance and we’ll have to be ready. We’re looking good and building to be in a good place come Sunday.”

Match day entertainment

The Wire Flyer will be racing BBC Sport pundit and former Bradford Bulls star Robbie Hunter-Paul in our half time Gaskell’s Bin it to Win it challenge.

Local band Havoc 51 will be performing in the concourses in the build-up to kick.

The C4 Wirettes will be performing and everyone’s favourite mascot Wolfie will make his way around the stadium.

Ticket info

Tickets for Sunday’s game are available from the official club store, by calling 01925 248888 or online.

Members receive £5 discount for this game with junior members going free if purchased in advance of game day.

Supporters can purchase tickets on cash turnstiles in the South and West Stand.

Ticket collection windows are open from 11am as well as the official club store. The store will close up to one hour after full time.

Other Challenge Cup sixth round ties

Hull FC v Castleford (Fri), Wakefield v Widnes (Fri), Dewsbury v Halifax (Fri), Salford v Hull KR (Sat), Bradford v Leeds (Sat), Catalans v Doncaster (Sat), Huddersfield v St Helens (Sun).

The quarter-final draw will follow the game in the Martin Dawes Legends Lounge. Jonathan Davies and Ellery Hanley will conduct the draw.

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