Gildart aiming to follow in father's footsteps with WCC win

By Christopher Devine 18 February 2017
Gildart aiming to follow in father's footsteps with WCC win

Wigan Warriors centre Oliver Gildart will take inspiration from his father when he aims to help the Super League champions earn a shock World Club Challenge win over Cronulla Sharks on Sunday.

Ian Gildart was part of the Wigan squad 30 years ago, when the Warriors beat Manly Sea Eagles 8-2 at Central Park to claim the first of three WCC titles in the space of seven years.

However, the club's victory over Brisbane Broncos in 1994 represents their most recent success in the competition and the odds are against Shaun Wane's men this weekend, with Australian teams having triumphed in the last four meetings between the winners of Super League and the NRL.

The successes of South Sydney Rabbitohs and North Queensland Cowboys in 2015 and 2016 respectively proved particularly emphatic, but Wigan are hopeful of making life tough for the Sharks at the DW Stadium.

"This is the one we want. It's the one we're desperate for because we've not won one in my lifetime, so it would be pretty nice to know what it feels like for Wigan to become world champions," Gildart junior told the Guardian.

"My dad was involved in it 30 years ago and I guess it's weird how these things work out that I'm in this position now going for it.

"He mentions all the time how it was an absolutely massive game and Shaun [Wane] always talks about that night.

"You look at the pictures - I see them a lot in my family as it is, and see that it was such a special night for Wigan as a town and as a club. Dad was on the bench and didn't play that night but he's mentioned to me what it's like to be involved in it and I think it’s helped get me ready."

In the last two years, Wigan have suffered World Club Series defeats to Brisbane Broncos, but Gildart expects a more intense atmosphere when they take part in the main event.

"Being in the big game on the Sunday and the final match, it does all feel a little bit different and a little bit more significant," he added. "There's a different atmosphere to the game last year and a different feel around the town."

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