Nothing ‘Toulouse’ for giant-killers Swinton as they prepare for world champions Wigan.

Nothing ‘Toulouse’ for giant-killers Swinton as they prepare for world champions Wigan.

APRIL 2017

Swinton Lions produced one of the great Challenge Cup shocks of recent times when they beat Huddersfield Giants three weeks ago.

They go into this weekend’s clash with reigning Super League and world champions Wigan Warriors in confident mood after they edged high flying Toulouse 27-20 at Heywood Road to make it three wins from their last four.  

“I can’t wait you know, they’re the biggest club in the world and to welcome them here to Heywood Road it’ll be a class occasion and we’re all looking forward to it” says former Wigan Second Rower Rhodri Lloyd.

lloyd 2
Lloyd (centre) in action for Swinton Vs Toulouse

23 year old Lloyd made his debut for the Warriors in 2012, playing with a number of Wigan’s current first team. The Welshman is one of several players in the Swinton squad coming up against their former employers on Sunday.  

“We’ve got a load of boys who came through the Wigan academy and it means a lot to them. They’re Wigan born and bred so I think it’s a massive game for the club and a massive game for a lot of these boys”.

Lloyd adds “a lot of them are our mates we go out for beers with a few of them and stuff like that. They’re our dual registration team as well so we try and emulate what they do. I think it’ll be good to test ourselves and it’s a game of rugby, who knows what can happen”.

While Swinton are in strong form, Wigan have lost their last two including a 54-4 drubbing at Castleford a fortnight ago. They’re also without a number of first team players, with 14 absent for their home defeat to Salford.

But Lions’ Head Coach John Duffy knows that whatever Warriors side they face, they’ll be in for a tough test; “Wigan are a club who from top to bottom they’re outstanding and they don’t take nothing for granted and their younger lads who are coming through are absolutely superb”.

John Duffy from Christopher Stott on Vimeo.

Swinton boss John Duffy on welcoming Wigan to Heywood Road

“We want to win every game but we’ve got to come up with a masterstroke to try and turn them over. We’ve got to just enjoy it as a club and as players and not let any pressure get to us and see what we can do”.

Playing a world champion side when you’re a part time outfit is a rarity, and that’s something that Duffy wants his troops to cherish; “I just said to the boys there you may never get the chance to play against the world champions ever again in your career so we’ve got to enjoy the week, try come up with a plan to try and beat them, just enjoy it and give it our best shot”.

The Lions’ are expecting their biggest crowd of the season, potentially their largest since relocating to Heywood Road back in 2015. Chairman John Roddy believes the game is less about the revenue it may bring, more about the potential to attract new fans to the club.

JOHN RODDY from Christopher Stott on Vimeo.

Chairman John Roddy relives excitement of the draw

“We had the opportunity to take the game to the DW stadium and who knows we may have made a bit more cash on that but you know what, the board decided let’s stay at Heywood road, let’s try to fill it, get 3,000 spectators here”.

Roddy adds, “for all those supporters who turn up for the big games, there’s an opportunity to see what the atmosphere is all about and who knows they may come back again when we get back into the league structure in June”.

Swinton vs Toulouse from Christopher Stott on Vimeo.

Match action as Swinton edge past Toulouse


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