George Williams pledged his future to Wigan – and then turned his attention to his duel against a player who helped smooth his path into the first-team set-up.
Matty Smith will be leading the St Helens charge in tomorrow’s mouth-watering Good Friday derby.
It will be Smith’s first game at the DW since leaving Wigan at the end of last year.
Williams, who committed his future to his hometown club last night, credits his former halfback partner for helping him settle into the Warriors side when he was handed the No.6 shirt in 2015.
The 22-year-old has since gone on to establish himself as one of England’s most exciting players.
“It will be good to play against him, I’ve never done that before,” said Williams.
He’s a great bloke, and someone I need to thank for everything he did for meGeorge Williams
“He’s a great bloke, and someone I need to thank for everything he did for me.
“I class him as a friend, I’ve dropped him messages and he’s done the same. It’ll be nice to have a go against each other.
“We obviously know a lot about each other – I’m not sure if he’s got any more tricks up his sleeves, we’ll have to see.
“He’s got a great kicking game and he’s got some good players around him as well. They are a good side.”
Wigan are seeking their first win in five matches, while Saints will be playing in their first game since sacking coach Keiron Cunningham.
A near-capacity crowd is expected for the 12.15pm kick-off.
“A lot of us have grown up with it, and I don’t take it for granted. It feels like the whole town gets behind it,” added Williams, who has never lost a Good Friday encounter.
“Saints will 100 per cent have a point to prove. They will be disappointed they’ve lost the coach, they may feel it’s down to them and so I’m expecting a reaction.
“But our focus is on us, we’ve not been where we want to be for the last few weeks.
“We’ve been in the games with 10 minutes to go, so there are some positives there, but we want to be winning matches.”