VETERAN HALF-BACK Liam Finn is set to make his 400th career appearance when Wakefield Trinity visit Wigan Warriors today.
The dramatic 28-26 win over Huddersfield Giants three days ago was Finn’s 399th game and his 50th for Wakefield over two spells more than a decade apart. He has also played 22 times with Halifax, 109 for Dewsbury Rams, 139 with Featherstone Rovers and 53 for Castleford Tigers, as well as earning 25 Ireland caps.
“I’m pretty chuffed with that achievement,” Finn said of the looming milestone. “I wouldn’t have expected it – 400 games across three or four different leagues. I’m a bit taken aback as I didn’t think it was that many, but now I’m quite proud of myself.”
Finn was a member of Halifax’s Super League squad in 2002-2003 and then had a season with Wakefield, but waited 10 years for his next top-flight appearance and admitted: “I knew I might not make it in Super League terms. I always wanted to play Super League, but I just wanted to play at the highest level I can really.
“I enjoyed playing at the other clubs I have in the Championship and in Championship One or National League Two as it was called then.
“I was just really happy to be playing rugby at a high level and getting paid to play it. If I’d gone another level down and gone back to Siddal it wouldn’t have been the end of me in a rugby sense.
“I would still have enjoyed the game and played for Siddal in National Conference or wherever. So, just to go through the different leagues and eventually get into Super League and take the chance when I did go to Cas, I’m just really happy.”
Victory at Wigan would make Finn’s 400th game extra-special. Trinity are on a five-match winning run and sit fifth in the table, two points ahead of today’s hosts. Wigan were pipped by St Helens last Thursday and Finn knows what to expect.
He predicted: “It’ll be the usual – a lot of talk about how upset they are about losing and how they are going to take it out on us, but we’ll just ignore everything that gets said and get on with our job, going there confident we can perform well.
“If we perform well we’ve shown this season we can challenge anyone. It’s not always the case of going to a place like that and saying ‘we’re going to win’. If you go there you have to go compete and give yourself a chance going into the last 10 minutes. That’s what you have to do at this level.”
Trinity could give a debut to new signing Adam Walker and Bill Tupou, Mikey Sio and Ash Gibson are vying for a recall, with Ben Jones-Bishop and Keegan Hirst dropping out from Friday’s 17.
Wigan Warriors: from Burgess, Davies, Farrell, Field, Gregson, Isa, Leuluai, Marshall, McIlorum, Navarette, Nuuausala, O’Loughlin, Powell, Sutton, Tautai, Tierney, Wells, Williams, Worthington
Wakefield Trinity: from Arona, Arundel, Ashurst, Batchelor, Caton-Brown, England, Fifita, Finn, Gibson, Grix, Huby, Kirmond, Lyne, Miller, Sio, Tupou, Adam Walker, Williams, Wood.
Referee: Chris Campbell (Widnes).
Kick-off: Today, 3pm.