Barrie McDermott’s Insights on Wigan vs. Warrington Challenge Cup Final

On the Eve of the Challenge Cup Final: McDermott Shares His Thoughts

On the eve of the highly anticipated Challenge Cup final, former Leeds Rhinos and Great Britain forward, and Sky Sports pundit, Barrie McDermott has shared his thoughts on the clash between Wigan Warriors and Warrington Wolves. This marks just the second time these two teams have met in the final, with the previous encounter occurring in 1990, when Wigan emerged victorious.

McDermott, who played for Wigan for two seasons and won a championship during his time there, also experienced a Wigan-Warrington final in the Regal Trophy, securing a 40-10 victory. However, his Challenge Cup triumph came with Leeds Rhinos, when they defeated London Broncos to lift the trophy after a 21-year drought.

Wigan as the Favorites

Speaking on the Eddie and Stevo: The Podcast, McDermott expressed his belief that Wigan are the team to beat in the competition at the moment. “Wigan for me are the best team in the competition at the minute. They defend well, they attack well, they’ve got some magnificent players,” he said. “Obviously a couple of suspensions in there, but the strength-in-depth means that they’re going, rightly, as favorites.”

Significance for Warrington Wolves

While acknowledging Wigan’s status as the favorites, McDermott also touched on the potential significance of a victory for Warrington Wolves. He highlighted the emotional connection, stating, “I’ve always been a tremendous fan of Sam Burgess because of the way he dealt with MND early on in his teenage years with his dad.” Burgess’ father, Mark, sadly passed away from MND in 2007 when Sam was still a teenager.

McDermott continued, “I think there’s a little bit of poetry in Sam Burgess, in his first year as a coach, on a week that somebody close to the sport died of MND, lifting that Challenge Cup.” He expressed his desire for a thrilling match, one that would leave spectators impressed by the players’ physicality and technical abilities.

Overall, the former rugby league player provided a balanced perspective on the upcoming Challenge Cup final, recognizing Wigan’s status as the favorites while also acknowledging the emotional significance a Warrington victory could hold.

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