We take a look at what’s being said as Wigan Warriors face Salford Red Devils and Leeds Rhinos take on St Helens in Friday’s Super League matches, live on Sky Sports.
Wigan Warriors vs Salford Red Devils (5.30pm)
Ian Watson has stated in no uncertain terms that he will not allow any let-up from his Salford players as the Super League season comes towards its conclusion.
The Red Devils’ Challenge Cup hopes were thwarted by a Luke Gale drop goal in Saturday’s 17-16 defeat to Leeds in the final at Wembley and they now return to league action against Wigan.
Wigan Warriors vs Salford Red Devils
October 23, 2020, 5:15pm
Head coach Watson has called on his squad to maintain their high standards heading into a busy period between now and the end of the regular season in mid-November.
“Obviously we had a massive disappointment at the weekend, but we got over it pretty quickly,” Watson said.
“We know it’s a quick turn-around, but our mentality is that we’re going to play against Wigan to win.
“After the Challenge Cup final, it probably felt like the end of the season a little bit, so we all had a chat about that and where we’ve got to as a team. We’ve got to ensure our standards remain high.”
👥 Ian Watson has named his 21-man squad for Friday's @SuperLeague fixture!
🔁 A number of changes have been made from the team which walked out at Wembley, including the return of cup-tied @AndyAckers9!
💪 #TogetherStronger pic.twitter.com/QUHu1wtVs3
Watson will give Chris Atkin a run in the halves after losing Kevin Brown for the rest of the season with an ankle injury.
Wigan, meanwhile, are without skipper Sean O’Loughlin, who has a strained hamstring, but centre Oliver Gildart is set to return and Adrian Lam has front row forwards Tony Clubb, George Burgess and Ben Flower available after recovering from injury.
The Warriors return to action for the first time since positive Covid-19 tests in the squad forced their clash with Catalans Dragons to be postponed, but the head coach is pleased with how his side coped in those circumstances.
“Like everything that this year has thrown at us, we are glad as a club that we’ve handled it well,” Lam said.
🏉🗞 SQUAD NEWS | Adrian Lam has named the @WiganWarriorsRL 21-man squad to face @SalfordDevils this Friday in R17 of @SuperLeague 👇#WWRL #SLWigSal pic.twitter.com/K46szSXH5x
“I’m really excited that we’ve got a selection of players to pick from. We’ve not really been in this position all season, especially since lockdown.”
Wigan Warriors: Zak Hardaker, Oliver Gildart, Joe Burgess, Bevan French, Tommy Leuluai, Tony Clubb, Sam Powell, George Burgess, Willie Isa, Liam Farrell, Ben Flower, Joe Greenwood, Morgan Smithies, Oliver Partington, Joe Bullock, Dom Manfredi, Jake Bibby, Harry Smith, Jackson Hastings, Joe Shorrocks, Brad Singleton
Salford Red Devils: Niall Evalds, Ed Chamberlain, Krisnan Inu, Tui Lolohea, Lee Mossop, Joey Lussick, Gil Dudson, Pauli Pauli, Tyrone McCarthy, Sebastine Ikahihifo, Greg Burke, Luke Yates, Chris Atkin, Mark Flanagan, James Greenwood, Rhys Williams, Elliot Kear, Oliver Roberts, Andy Ackers, Kallum Watkins, Oliver Ashall-Bolt.
St Helens vs Leeds Rhinos (7.45pm)
Richard Agar believes Leeds’ Challenge Cup exploits will have an impact on their chances of making the top four in Super League.
St Helens vs Leeds Rhinos
October 23, 2020, 7:45pm
The Rhinos lifted the trophy for the first time since 2015 last Saturday, but there is no let-up for them as they enter a busy period with little respite for the squad.
Head coach Agar warned his side are up against it as they go into Friday’s match with St Helens, but has vowed there will be no let-up as they bid to secure a play-off spot.
“It’s a massive challenge,” Agar said. “We desperately want to make the top four, but I think things have fallen in a very difficult way for us.
“We’re coming off the back of a very tiring and emotional weekend and now we’ve got six games in 17 days.
Richard Agar has named his 21 man squad to face St Helens the Friday as we return to Betfred Super League action
➡ More here https://t.co/z1Y7IwRBIA pic.twitter.com/bvrds6XTHs
“We’ve got a squad that’s got some depth about it. If we could pull it off, it would be an enormous achievement and we’ll give it a damn good go.”
At least 10 members of the team which lifted the Challenge Cup are set to be rested, while Adam Cuthbertson, who joins Championship side York City Knights at the end of the season, could have made his last Rhinos appearance after fracturing his shoulder.
Saints head coach Kristian Woolf makes just one change to his squad, with James Graham back after a period of self-isolating and replacing youngster Jack Wingfield.
The reigning champions go into the latest round of matches sitting top of the Super League table and back row Morgan Knowles is determined they stay there.
🔴⚪ 𝐒𝐐𝐔𝐀𝐃 𝐍𝐄𝐖𝐒 🔴⚪
James Graham is back in our 21 man squad this week replacing young Jake Wingfield in the only change as we prepare to face @leedsrhinos on Friday! 👊
Read more 👇https://t.co/JX0ZJ2OUL3 pic.twitter.com/tQZXCRLGIe
“All of the games towards the back end, we’re playing some of our rivals and Leeds are definitely one of them,” Knowles told Saints TV.
“To get the result against them and get a couple of points on them gets us closer to getting the League Leaders’ Shield and the best spot for the play-offs.”
St Helens: Lachlan Coote, Tommy Makinson, Kevin Naiqama, Regan Grace, Jonny Lomax, Theo Fages, Alex Walmsley, James Roby, Zeb Taia, Dom Peyroux, Louie McCarthy-Scarsbrook, Morgan Knowles, Matty Lees, Kyle Amor, Aaron Smith, James Bentley, Jack Welsby, Joe Batchelor, Josh Simm, Lewis Dodd, James Graham.
Leeds Rhinos: Luke Briscoe, Jack Broadbent, James Donaldson, Brad Dwyer, Levi Edwards, Rhys Evans, Corey Hall, James Harrison, Robert Lui, Callum McLelland, Ritchie Myler, Jarrod O’Connor, Mikolaj Oledzki, Avagalu Seumanufagai, Cameron Smith, Alex Sutcliffe, Bodene Thompson, Liam Tindall, Jack Walker, Sam Walters, Tom Holroyd.
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