Warrington prepare to make ClubCall
All eyes will be on Warrington Wolves as they ponder whether or not to set up a repeat of last year's Super League Grand Final in next week's semi-finals.
The Wolves have the task of choosing their last-four play-off opponents through the ClubCall system which is now in its fifth season.
Warrington coach Tony Smith is on a four-strong panel sitting down today to determine whether Huddersfield Giants or Leeds Rhinos will visit the Halliwell Jones Stadium for the first semi-final on Thursday.
He will be joined by club owner Simon Moran, chief executive Andy Gatcliffe and chairman Stephen Broomhead, who will make the announcement live on Sky Sports News at noon on Sunday, and it may not be a straight-forward decision.
Huddersfield are the 9-2 outsiders to win at Old Trafford on October 5 and have lost three times to Warrington already this year, but they are the league leaders and Smith's stated preference is for his club to play the lowest-ranked team left in the competition.
They also bounced back to form in sensational fashion with a 76-18 rout of Hull FC in the first preliminary semi-final on Thursday night.
Smith's men lost to Leeds in last October's Old Trafford showdown but gained a measure of revenge with a 40-20 victory in last Saturday's opening play-off match which earned them a week off and the right to host ClubCall.
Leeds half-back Danny McGuire, the drop-goal hero of the Rhinos' gripping 11-10 win over St Helens in last night's other preliminary semi-final, is expecting his club to be chosen for the third year in a row.
"I'd imagine so," he said. "You don't want to rock any boats when you've got the ClubCall, do you? You just pick the lowest team and that's us.
"Obviously Warrington did a job on us last week and will be pretty confident.
"We're 99 per cent certain we'll be going back there. We've already started preparing for that."
The club not chosen by Warrington will go to Wigan Warriors in the other semi-final at the DW Stadium on Friday.