Gildart previews Warrington clash

Gildart previews Warrington clash

  • Gildart previews Super 8s clash with Warrington on Friday

  • Discusses emotional victory against Wakefield last week

  • Gives thoughts on early retirement of forward Macauley Davies

Wigan Warriors centre Oliver Gildart says the side are taking every game like it’s their last ahead of the Super 8s round five clash with Warrington Wolves this Friday.

After losing the Challenge Cup Final to Catalans Dragons, the Wire have got back to winning ways against Hull and Huddersfield, looking in good shape ahead of their visit to the DW. Gildart said, “They are a real tough team Warrington, probably one of the toughest. They are playing well at the moment as well. They put a big score on Hull a couple of weeks ago and they will probably want to get one over on us as well.”

With the top four settled, the race for 2nd remains on and Gilly was quick to make it clear that the Wigan squad know what needs to be done. He said, “I still think it’s anyone’s game. If we go on a losing run we can lose that second spot and a home tie [in the semi-final].”

“For us it’s just taking every game like it’s your last and making sure we notch these wins up. We’ve played Castleford and put a big emphasis on beating them and Warrington is the same, we need to get a win.”

Macauley Davies Retirement

On the news that young Wigan forward Macauley Davies has been forced to retire immediately on medical grounds, Oliver gave his thoughts on the situation and life after a rugby career.

“It’s heartbreaking, I grew up with Macca [Macauley], went to school with him, played school rugby with him and academy rugby with him then got to the first team with him. So, when I found out I was absolutely devastated.”

“I’ve had a chat with him since and he will do the right things. He’s got the right help at the club and the right perspective and certainly for me it’s been a real high opener. You don’t know what’s around the corner really so you’ve got to be prepared with the off field side of things too.”

On Dan Sarginson and Wakefield Trinity win

Last Thursday’s match with Wakefield was certainly one with heightened emotions in all of the squad and the club following the sad passing of Dan Sarginson’s brother Adam the previous weekend. On playing that night the 22 year-old said, “Everyone is good, if anything it’s probably brought us all closer. It’s definitely emotional and you can see a change in everyone and how close we have all got.”

When asked how hard it is to play with such sad circumstances around the squad, the centre explained, “It works both ways really, it’s such an upsetting thing but it kind of gives you the drive to go out and do it. A bit mixed emotions really.”

“I remember winning the Grand Final a few years ago and that was a bad year for us so to come out of it with a win made it all the more special, so hopefully we can do that again this year.”

Playing on the wing

Since returning from injury a couple of weeks ago, the centre has been used to good effect on the wing, scoring an eye-catching try against Wakefield in the corner. On playing a different role Gildart said, “I’ve only played a handful of games there but I’m just enjoying it and taking my opportunities when they come and give it my all.”

With the expectation that Dom Manfredi will return on the wing after two years on the sidelines, Gilly said “hopefully he will get a crack this week. He is a close friend and it’ll be emotional to see him back out there after so long out. For me he was the best winger in the competition when he was fit so hopefully he’s back.”

“He’s getting angrier now I think he’s getting frustrated because all the hard work is done. I’ve just been out for six weeks and I was pulling my hair out so for him to have two years out, I can’t really give him enough credit.”

Zak Hardaker begins training

Zak Hardaker began training with the Wigan squad this week, and while he can’t play for the Cherry and Whites this season, Gildart said it has been great having him around the team.

“He’s a world class player and has great intensity in training, everything he does brings the best out of you. Whether you’re defending or attacking against him you’ve got to be at your best so it’s only going to benefit us.”

I’ve played against him for a number of years now, had some good times with him and some bad times with him. Obviously lost in the Grand Final against him so I know what he can d, so hopefully he can add to my game and vise versa.”

_ Wigan host Warrington Wolves at the DW Stadium on Friday 14 September, kick-off 7.45pm. Tickets are available starting from £22 for adults, £16 for concessions with juniors from £10. Members are entitled to £2 off adult tickets and £1 off concession and junior tickets. How To Buy

• In person via DW Stadium ticket office

• Online at www.eticketing.co.uk/wiganwarriors

• Ticket Hotline 01942 311111_

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