Super League preview, statistics and team news ahead of latest fixtures

Chris Annakin
Chris Annakin

Get the latest team news, statistics, head-to-heads and more ahead of the latest round of Super League fixtures.

Saturday, June 16

Hull (5) v Wigan (2) preview

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Wigan second rower John Bateman reckons a win over Hull on Saturday will quickly silence the doom-mongers.

The Warriors are reeling from their first back-to-back defeats in the Betfred Super League this season as well as an ignominious exit from the Challenge Cup and the enforced departure of Joel Tomkins.

But Shaun Wane's men are still second in the table and Bateman believes victory over fifth-placed Hull at the KCOM Stadium will get their Grand Final bid back on track.

"I think it's the pressure on Wigan," he said. "As soon as Wigan start losing games, everyone wants to jump on your back. It's part and parcel of the game.

"These last few weeks have been tough. We've probably gone from one of the best weeks of the season against Warrington at the Magic Weekend to some of the worst.

"We got knocked out of the Challenge Cup, which was massive for us, and going to Hull KR and losing there was a disappointment and we lost at Wakefield last week.

"But we've had a couple of days off and that was good for the lads to refresh themselves, just to have a bit of time away from rugby.

"We all came back excited for the game at the weekend so we'll be ready to go. We know what we're capable of and we're still sat in second, two points clear of Warrington.

"A win this week and it will be all forgotten. We just need to get that win."

Hull, who lost to Wigan in a round two fixture taken on the road to Australia in February, need a win to stay in touch with the top four.

Utility back Jake Connor, whose outstanding form this year has earned him a place alongside Bateman in England's 19-man squad for next week's Test against New Zealand in Denver, appreciates the significance of Saturday's game.

"It's massive for us, for where we are in the table and getting into that four which is where we want to be," he said.

"We need to win to put us right in the mix. If we drop points now, there's Wakefield behind us putting pressure on, if we lose it does put a lot of pressure on the team.

"Every time we play Wigan, they always decide to turn up. In Australia they put one on us and we like to think we owe them one but we know how dangerous they are."

Team news and statistics

Hull welcome back stand-off Albert Kelly and hooker Danny Houghton while Wigan are boosted by the return of forwards Ben Flower and Taulima Tautai.

Meanwhile, Hull coach Lee Radford has confirmed that prop forward Josh Bowden will miss the England Knights' end-of-season tour to Papua New Guinea after undergoing surgery on his damaged knee.

"Josh's surgery went well but we certainly won't see him again this season on the field," Radford said. "He's going to get away for a while to freshen up."

Hull have skipper Danny Houghton and half-back Albert Kelly back from injury but loose forward Joe Westerman is out after failing to recover from a knee injury sustained in the run-up to last week's win over Salford.

Wigan have winger Liam Marshall back after missing the defeat at Wakefield through illness, while forwards Taulima Tautai and Ben Flower are set to return from injury but second-rower Liam Farrell is out after rolling his ankle.

Last season: Hull 39 Wigan 26, Wigan 20 Hull 22.

Last six league matches: Hull W L W W L W Wigan W W W W L L.

Top try scorers: Fetuli Talanoa (Hull) 12; Liam Marshall (Wigan) 10.

Top goal scorers: Marc Sneyd (Hull) 51; Sam Tomkins (Wigan) 54.

Referee: R Hicks.


Sunday, June 17

Castleford (4) v Hull KR (11)

Castleford have centre Jake Webster and forward Junior Moors back from injury, while recent signing Quentin Laulu-Togaga'e is set to make his home debut and young full-back Calum Turner keeps his place in Daryl Powell's squad after starring in the win at Warrington.

Hull KR coach Tim Sheens has named new signing Joel Tomkins in his 19-man squad, along with fit-again captain Shaun Lunt and prop Lee Jewitt, who have both recovered from injury. On-loan hooker Aaron Smith is also recalled in place of Joe Cator, while forwards Josh Johnson and Jordan Walne are the other players to make way.

Last season: No corresponding fixture.

Last six league matches: Castleford W L W L W W Hull KR L L L W L L.

Top try scorers: Jy Hitchcox (Castleford) 8; Ryan Shaw (Hull KR) 8.

Top goal scorers: Luke Gale (Castleford) 35; Ryan Shaw (Hull KR) 45.

Referee: L Moore.

Wakefield (6) v Warrington (3)

Wakefield coach Chris Chester brings in forward Chris Annakin, who was unavailable last week, in the only change to the side that beat Wigan.

Warrington's former Wigan prop Dominic Crosby could make his first appearance for two months after being recalled in the only change to the team that lost to Castleford.

Last season: Wakefield 26 Warrington 12, Warrington 22 Wakefield 20.

Last six league matches: Wakefield L L W L W W Warrington W W W L W L.

Top try scorers: Ben Jones-Bishop (Wakefield) 12; Josh Charnley (Warrington) 9.

Top goal scorers: Liam Finn (Wakefield) 32; Stefan Ratchford (Warrington) 25.

Referee: C Kendall.

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