In the long history of Wigan-St Helens derbies, there probably has never been one quite like this. Both clubs limp into today's lunch appointment with a run of three defeats behind them – including elimination last weekend from the Challenge Cup semi-finals.
Wigan are the worst affected by injuries, the squad already light on experience now stripped bare. As well as Dave Allen and Kevin Brown, the wing, Jon Whittle, loaned back from Orrell, could also make his debut. Saints are likely to be without Sean Long.
At Bradford, Hull, who are one place below the hosts in the table, will be hoping to take advantage of the traditional pre-Cup final wobble. The Bradford coach, Brian Noble, is adamant he will field his strongest available side, but a number of players still face fitness tests.
Lee Briers returns for Warrington against Wakefield, with Lee Penny making his first appearance of the season in the Super League.
Widnes have Ryan Sheridan back after seven weeks against London, who have Peden available after a similar absence.
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