Luke Thompson is licking his lips at the prospect of picking up some of the riches which lie ahead at the business end of the RL season.
The St Helens prop forward will be hoping to help his team-mates to domestic honours and on a personal level earn a place in the England squad for the three-match Test series against New Zealand in October-November.
Wigan’s form this season has been a bit up and down but they are a physical side, especially when we are their opponents, and we are not expecting anything different this time aroundLuke Thompson
They are all realistic targets but Castleford Tigers were in a similar position on the club front 12 months ago - and look what happened to them!
Justin Holbrook’s outfit will naturally be taking each game as it comes as they attempt to make a clean sweep of home-based silverware - a triple they last achieved in 2006 under the guidance of Daniel Anderson - and 23-year-old Thompson, who was a Grand Final winner as a teenager when St Helens defeated Wigan Warriors 14-6 in 2014, will also be looking no further than Thursday’s blockbusting clash with the Cherry and Whites at the DW Stadium.
He said: “Wigan’s form this season has been a bit up and down but they are a physical side, especially when we are their opponents, and we are not expecting anything different this time around.
“I’m sure we will match them and I’m looking forward to what should be a great encounter.”
Saints have an unmatchable eight point lead over their neighbours with only two fixtures of the regular season remaining but the former insists that, while they are mindful of where they sit in the table, all they will be focusing on is the next 80 minutes down the track.
“It’s more a question of performing each week, setting high standards and maintaining them,” said Thommo.
His form during the remainder of the season will also be a key factor if he is to retain his place in England boss Wayne Bennett’s squad for the end of season Test series against the Kiwis.
The former Bold Miners and Pilkington Recs junior, who has been on Saints’ books since he was 11, was named in the initial squad for the historic mid-season international with New Zealand in Denver but when Wigan’s George Williams pulled out at the 11th-hour through injury - and not replaced - Thompson was the only England player not to be handed a shirt.
“Initially, I felt a little disappointed not to feature in the game but on reflection I was just made up to be involved in the international set-up at senior level for the first time and look on it as a great experience,” said the
Thompson added: “It has been a life-long ambition to represent my country and feel that just being involved with the squad is a learning curve and a step in the right direction.
“In the meantime, I will be fully concentrating on my club form and hope it will be good enough to catch Wayne’s eye.”