Wigan Warriors have chosen to play reigning Stobart Super League champions Leeds Rhinos in Friday’s semi-final at the DW Stadium.
The Warriors had the right to pick their opponents under the Clubcall rule and opted to avoid Carnegie Challenge Cup winners Warrington Wolves, the other choice open to them, when they announced their decision at lunchtime today.
The double-chasing Wolves, therefore, will play St Helens in the second semi-final at Langtree Park on Saturday.
Warrington, who beat Hull FC 24-12 in yesterday’s preliminary semi-final, suffered a 28-6 home defeat by Saints in the opening round of the play-offs and as a consequence lost home advantage at the last-four stage.
Leeds, who were chosen by Warrington in last year’s semi-finals, are aiming to win the title once more from fifth place and have started to look in ominous form with impressive wins over Wakefield Trinity Wildcats and Catalan Dragons so far.
Table-toppers Wigan have done the double over the Rhinos this year and will have the chance to avenge their surprise 39-28 Challenge Cup semi-final defeat by Brian McDermott’s men, who went on to lose to Warrington at Wembley.
Leeds coach Brian McDermott says his side’s cup defeat will count for little on Friday.
“It may count more for Wigan in terms of motivation but we won’t read much into it,” he said.
“They beat us twice in the league and it wasn’t a great day for us at home when they put 50 points past us.”