16th September 2019, 15:35 | academy
Wigan Warriors will aim to complete a hat-trick of Academy Championships at the DW Stadium on Friday evening, when they face old rivals St Helens in the Grand Final – before the Betfred Super League qualifying semi final against Salford Red Devils.
Wigan have an outstanding record of consistency at Under-19 level over the last decade, and this will be their fifth consecutive Grand Final appearance.
They earned the right to enjoy home advantage in the Grand Final by finishing top of the table with 22 wins from 23 fixtures.
They then secured their Grand Final place with a 50-22 victory over Warrington Wolves at Robin Park on Saturday, with wing Cian Tyrer scoring three of their nine tries, and England Academy scrum half Harry Smith collecting 18 points from a try and seven goals.
St Helens, who had finished second in the table, beat Leeds Rhinos 34-10 in the first semi final at the Totally Wicked Stadium on Thursday evening, with two tries apiece for Jack Welsby and Josh Simm.
Saints have also been impressively consistent at Academy level in recent years, and this will be their fourth Grand Final appearance in six seasons – as they aim to repeat the consecutive victories over Wigan in 2015 and 2016.
The 2019 Academy Grand Final kicks off at 530pm and Dave Elliott, the RFL’s National Programmes Manager and England Academy Head Coach, said: “There’s an exciting amount of talent in both the Wigan and St Helens teams, and they will relish the platform provided by the DW Stadium before a Super League Play-Off. Both clubs have an excellent record in developing local talent, and congratulations to them both for reaching another Grand Final this year.”