x Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 23 July 2017

No time for emotion

The winger Mark Calderwood will hope to silence the fans that used to cheer for him when he returns to Headingley for the last time as a Wigan player tonight.

The England international Mark Calderwood will return to Leeds as a Wigan player for the last time tonight.
The England international Mark Calderwood will return to Leeds as a Wigan player for the last time tonight.

LONDON // The winger Mark Calderwood will hope to silence the fans that used to cheer for him when he returns to Headingley for the last time as a Wigan player tonight. The England international was a big favourite of the South Stand crowd after scoring 88 tries from 126 appearances in five seasons for Leeds up to 2005 but there will be no room for sentiment as Wigan look to book a place in the Super League Grand Final at the expense of the champions.

"It's going to be nice going there and hopefully we can get a win and silence the South Stand a bit," said Calderwood, who is joining Hull next season. "We know we have to play very well against this Leeds team. They are at home and they came second in the competition by a country mile. "Then again, it's a semi-final and that's the incentive for us. We are 80 minutes away from a final." St Helens await the winners of tonight's final eliminator after thrashing the Rhinos 38-10 in last week's qualifying semi.

While the Warriors go into the game on a high after securing handsome play-off victories over Bradford and third-placed Catalans Dragons, Leeds must quickly pick themselves up if they are to earn a re-match with Saints at Old Trafford. The Australian winger Scott Donald, who took Calderwood's number two jersey and finished second in the tryscoring charts this year, admits it was back to the drawing board this week as the Rhinos look to repeat their win over the Warriors in last year's final eliminator. "I think everyone, at some point or another, was not at the level they are capable of.

"It's just about getting down to the basics and making sure that everyone performs their individual roles particularly well," said Donald. "It was a great day for Leeds for us as a team and as a club last year. We're extremely proud of that day and hopefully we'll get an opportunity to get out there again." Not surprisingly, the Wigan coach Brian Noble has named an unchanged squad while his counterpart Brian McClennan has recalled prop Luke Burgess in place of the utility back Jordan Tansey in the 19-man squad.

* PA Sport