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Super League Rivals Round: Jai Field relishes the chance to finally face St Helens | Rugby League News


Wigan Warriors’ Jai Field and St Helens’ Jack Welsby will meet for the first time in Friday’s derby.

Rivalries in sport are long-lasting and deep-rooted, and the Super League has plenty of them. However, only two sporting events have been given the infamous title of “Derby”; the horse race at Epsom and the clash between the neighboring towns of St Helens and Wigan.

Good Friday is, since the dawn of the Super League, the first meeting between these regular season rivals and features two titans of the sport who go head-to-head, not just for the most important points, but for bragging rights. that come with victory against your old enemies a few miles away.

As with every derby between St Helens and Wigan, there is an underlying narrative that always threatens to surface. In 2004 we saw Paul Sculthorpe’s infamous match against Andy Farrell, 2015 saw Wigan try to redeem themselves for their dramatic Grand Final loss to Saints, and 2022 finally sees two rising Super League stars go head-to-head .

It’s first against second and it’s fullback against fullback: it’s Jai Field versus Jack Welsby.

After an injury-laden 2021, Field has lit up the competition in 2022, topping the charts in clean breaks, yards covered and tackle saves, and scoring nine tries in the first seven rounds of the competition.

Jai Field was in excellent form for Wigan in their win over Leeds Rhinos - landing for a try hat-trick.

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Jai Field was in excellent form for Wigan in their win over Leeds Rhinos – landing for a try hat-trick.

Jai Field was in excellent form for Wigan in their win over Leeds Rhinos – landing for a try hat-trick.

The Warriors full-back’s quick footwork and natural pace make him a dangerous threat to St Helens’ strong defense and as he enters his first-ever derby he is delighted to take on the challenge of face the Saints for the first time in front of a sell out crowd on Good Friday.

“It’s exciting. You don’t know until you come into this country and you’re in the Wigan or Saints system how big this rivalry is so I’m really looking forward to it.” , Field said.

“Teammates can tell you how important it is and how important it is for both teams.

“I couldn’t play last year but I saw the atmosphere so I can’t imagine what it’s going to be like when it’s at Saints and of this magnitude.

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“It’s definitely a bigger opportunity and a bigger rivalry, so you go into it like any other game, but you know the emotions are heating up.”

Someone who has experienced the tense atmosphere of a St Helens v Wigan clash, even without fans present, is Field’s counterpart Jack Welsby.

As the producer of one of the most iconic Grand Final moments, the St Helens star certainly knows what it takes to take on and defeat the Warriors.

In the dying moments of the match, Tommy Makinson hit the post on a drop goal attempt, only for Jack Welsby to follow to grab a try.

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In the dying moments of the match, Tommy Makinson hit the post on a drop goal attempt, only for Jack Welsby to follow to grab a try.

In the dying moments of the match, Tommy Makinson hit the post on a drop goal attempt, only for Jack Welsby to follow to grab a try.

The 2021 Super League Young Player of the Year has a nerve in the last line of defense well beyond his years, powering the attacking line with an instinctive style of play that poses a real threat with the ball in hand.

And when these distinctive styles clash, it could be a deciding factor in the outcome of one of Super League’s biggest rivalries.

Field, however, doesn’t believe such battles will be the focus of the game, instead both players will just be focused on themselves and getting the result for their team.

Jack Welsby (right) hopes to celebrate another win over Wigan on Good Friday

Jack Welsby (right) hopes to celebrate another win over Wigan on Good Friday

He said: “Welsby is a great player, he’s really good at football but you don’t go there with that kind of battle focus.

“I think we will both try to get the win for our team and it will be a good match.

“They (St Helens) have been the benchmark for three or four years so it’s a good opportunity for us to test ourselves.”

Head to Head: Jai Field vs. Jack Welsby

Age 24 21
Tackles 33 26
Meters 1126 491
Aids 3 11
try 3 9

Woolf: Saints v Wigan is the biggest derby

St Helens head coach Kristian Woolf is delighted to finally have the chance to be part of a Good Friday derby on home soil.

Despite the positions in play in the table, Woolf knows that the game means more than the points available.

“I’m really looking forward to it, and so are the players. It’s the type of game that players are excited about and really want to participate in,” says Woolf.

“You can just feel in training that there’s real excitement and intensity around what we’re doing.

St Helens' Kyle Amor explains what makes the rivalry between St Helens and Wigan so special.

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St Helens’ Kyle Amor explains what makes the rivalry between St Helens and Wigan so special.

St Helens’ Kyle Amor explains what makes the rivalry between St Helens and Wigan so special.

“I think it’s not a lot on both counts to be honest it’s about what the actual game is and the occasion it is, the rivalry it is and you know how Wigan feels exactly the same.

“It’s a derby, as I understand it, the biggest in our game and one of the oldest and it also has a different meaning on Good Friday.

“Both points are obviously important and the fact that we’re sitting one and two attracts the guys on occasion and also adds to the rivalry, but I think it’s more about play than place in the table.

“This game has a little more meaning and a little more on the line and that’s how it is for our players.”

Wigan will face leaders St Helens in a table clash on Good Friday, live on Sky Sports, and will also play their rivals at Elland Road on May 7 for a place in the Cup final at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium on May 28. .

St Helens 21-man squad: 1. Jack Welsby, 2. Tommy Makinson, 3. Will Hopoate, 4. Mark Percival, 6. Jonny Lomax, 7. Lewis Dodd, 8. Alex Walmsley, 9. James Roby, 10. Matty Lees, 12. Joe Batchelor, 13. Morgan Knowles, 14. Joey Lussick, 15. LMS, 17. Agnatius Paasi, 19. Jake Wingfield, 20. James Bell, 22. Ben Davies, 23. Konrad Hurrell, 24. Dan Norman, 26. Sam Royle, 27 Jon Bennison

Wigan Warriors 21-man squad: 1. Bevan French, 2. Jake Bibby, 6. Cade Cust, 7. Thomas Lueluai, 8. Brad Singleton, 9. Sam Powell, 10. Patrick Mago, 11. Willie Isa, 12. Liam Farrell, 13. John Bateman, 14. Morgan Smithies, 16 years old. Harry Smith, 17 years old. Oliver Partington, 19 years old. Ethan Havard, 20 years old. Liam Byrne, 22. Joe Shorrocks, 23 years old. Jai Field, 24 years old. Abbas Miski, 25 years old. Sam Halsall, 26. James McDonnell, 28. Brad O’Neill




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