Biggest test: Clubb

Biggest test: Clubb

  • Tony Clubb previews Friday night’s Betfred Super League trip to local rivals St Helens.

  • Prop expects a ‘fast and physical game’ and one that is ‘completely different’ to previous weeks.

  • Clubb: “Ever since I’ve been at the Club, it’s all about ‘as long as you beat St Helens’ – that’s all I ever get told. This week is no different.”

Tony Clubb says Friday night’s derby with St Helens will be a chance for Wigan Warriors to see where they are as a team, as he calls it the ‘biggest test’ of the season so far.

The Cherry and Whites make the short trip to the Totally Wicked Stadium off the back five straight Betfred Super League wins, but the prop forward admits victory on Friday would be a true image of Wigan’s recent form.

Clubb said: “We’re excited to see where we are at as a group. They’ve probably been the benchmark this year; they’ve been consistent and that reflects where they are in the league.

“It’s always a fast and physical game against St Helens and I don’t see this being any different. Both teams are in flying form at the minute and it’s going to be a good test for us.

“It’s our biggest test of the season so far. Going there and winning would be massive for us and a real reflection of where we are as a team.”

In the last five weeks, the Warriors have moved from ninth to fourth in the league, but Clubb believes there won’t be a better opportunity to make a statement to the rest of Super League than Friday night.

“The teams we’ve played in the last five weeks are teams we were expected to beat.

“This is a completely different game, but as a group we’re excited. We know what we expect from ourselves and from them too.

“(Luke) Thompson and (Alex) Walmsley are pretty impressive so we’re ready to test ourselves and going to their place is no better.”

Since joining Wigan in 2014, the 32-year-old reminisced on what he has been told by people connected to the Club about the rivalry with St Helens, and his off-field friendship with Saints forward Louie McCarthy-Scarsbrook.

He said: “Ever since I’ve been at the Club, it’s all about ‘as long as you beat St Helens’ – that’s all I ever get told. This week is no different.

“I went out and did some shopping on Sunday and got told exactly the same! It’s such a good rivalry and one that I probably didn’t appreciate until I joined the Club.

“Me and my mate Louie (McCarthy-Scarsbrook) agree not to see each other in the week of the game. We’ve had a few fights in the past on the field, but it is what it is though as we’re both trying to compete for our team.

McCarthy-Scarsbrook is tackled by Clubb and Ben Flower in March 2016.

“I expect nothing different; it’s going to be packed out and a hostile crowd for us, but our fans travel well and make a ton of noise when we need it most.”

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