Sky Live: St Helens v Wigan Super League preview
Last Updated: 25/03/16 3:07pm
St Helens and England hooker James Roby insists his club's clash with Wigan, live on Sky Sports, has lost none of its appeal, as evidenced by a step up in preparation.
Both clubs will be looking to bounce back from below-par performances last weekend, with Wigan reeling from a first home defeat for 21 months.
And despite many believing the clash will be overshadowed by Widnes and Warrington's top-of-the-table clash 10 miles down the road at the Halliwell Jones stadium, for Roby the match is as important as ever.
"It's fair to say it's a bit more intense," Roby said. "When you're playing Wigan there is that added derby atmosphere, everybody is probably hyped up a bit more.
"You definitely get people reminding you wherever you go, especially living locally you can't avoid it. It's what you come to expect and it's great, it adds to the occasion.
"They never really change, they always stir up the same emotions in myself personally and the team and the town. It's been said millions of times over the years, it's a massive game."
Wigan coach Shaun Wane added a strange twist to the rivalry between the two clubs with his revelation that he is thinking of going on holiday to Scotland with St Helens boss Keiron Cunningham, but friendships will be cast aside for 80 minutes for the match, live on Sky Sports 1 HD at 3.15pm.
"Both clubs have a lot of respect for each other and have a similar ethos on promoting youngsters so we're very similar in many ways but that just adds to the spice of making it a must-win game," Wane said.
"It's two teams that are a little bit disappointed with their performances this year but at the end of the day, whether we're top or bottom or vice-versa, all of that goes out of the window," Wane added. "It's just a local derby
where both sets of fans are very passionate."
Warriors are boosted by the return of Joel Tomkins ahead of the derby.
The second row is set to make his first appearance of the season after suffering a knee injury in the pre-season fixture against the Salford Red Devils, taking the place of Liam Farrell, who is ruled out with a shoulder problem.
Coach Shaun Wane will be unable to call upon the services of stand-off George Williams due to a back injury, with full-back Lewis Tierney returning to the 19-man squad.
St Helens are without second rower Atelea Vea after he picked up a leg injury in the 30-18 defeat at Leeds and are poised to recall half-back or hooker Theo Fages for his first Good Friday derby.
St Helens: Tommy Makinson, Jordan Turner, Travis Burns, Luke Walsh, Alex Walmsley, James Roby, Kyle Amor, Jon Wilkin, Louie McCarthy-Scarsbrook, Lama Tasi, Greg Richards, Andre Savelio, Luke Thompson, Dominique Peyroux, Theo Fages, Joe Greenwood, Matty Dawson, Jack Owens, Shannon McDonnell.
Wigan Warriors: Josh Charnley, Anthony Gelling, Dan Sarginson, Dominic Manfredi, Matty Smith, Ben Flower, Joel Tomkins, Sean O'Loughlin, John Bateman, Tony Clubb, Sam Powell, Lee Mossop, Taulima Tautai, Oliver Gildart, Ryan Sutton, Lewis Tierney, Greg Burke, Nick Gregson, Joe Bretherton.
Watch St Helens v Wigan live on Sky Sports 1 HD on Good Friday from 3pm. Catch the match for £6.99 on NOW TV. No contract.