George Williams faces long-term team-mate Oliver Gildart for the first time in 15 years on Sunday – hoping for a better result than their last clash.
The two Wiganers grew up playing alongside each other for various teams before winning two Grand Finals and a World Club Challenge for the Warriors.
This weekend they will line up directly opposite each other at Magic Weekend for the first time since high school. And recent Warrington recruit Williams is looking to avoid a repeat scoreline at St James’ Park.
He explained: “We were about 11 or 12 when we started to really get to know each other on the scholarship and Wigan town teams. I’ve only ever played against Gilly once, at school – he played for for Eddies (St Edmund’s in Ashton) and I played for Standish.
“That game still gets mentioned – him and Joe Burgess were in the same team and they pumped us by 40, but we’ll not speak about that.
“Apart from that we’ve always been side-by-side. I’ve always played with him, literally alongside him on the field, and with him on the left and me on the right we’re going to be opposite each other now so there’ll be a few contacts.
“He reckons he’s going to skin me on the outside because he’s pretty fast, I’ve said he won’t run it straight – we’re just having a laugh.”
The pair had dinner together this week but the niceties will die down as weekend approaches with both local rivals keen to head into the play-offs in good form.
England international Williams showed glimpses of his class by scoring one thrilling try and creating another in Monday night’s 14-24 defeat to St Helens, and feels he is now feeling his feet in Steve Price’s side after a mid-season switch from Canberra Raiders.
Williams added: “I literally had one session the day before my debut at Leeds and didn’t know the calls which was pretty mad. Against Huddersfield last week when it was a bit quick I gave a Canberra call – I’m still getting used to that.
“But generally I think I’ve fitted in pretty well, we’re building combinations now. The good thing is there’s still a few games left to improve.
“I’d probably have laughed if you’d told me I’d be playing against Wigan at Magic at the start of the year, it’s not something I could expect. I’m really glad to be home and on that side of things I’ve definitely made the right decision.
“Sunday will be strange because it’s something I’ve never done before – it’s the team I grew up supporting and played a lot of games for. Wigan will always be special to me but I’m looking to get one over on them now.”
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