Wigan clash is no trial match: Bennett

Wayne Bennett insists Brisbane’s World Club Series clash with Wigan on Saturday is not a trial and is the perfect way to prepare for round one of the NRL season against Parramatta.

It’s a change of approach from Bennett, who last year played down the significance of the fixture between the sides which resulted in a golden point win for his Broncos.

“We’re not approaching it as a trial, it’s is a serious club game for us,” Bennett told AAP in Manchester.

“A trial is where you are throwing players on and off and trying to play around with players and formations but this is real deal stuff and that is how we are focusing on it.

“We’re here to win.”

The Broncos arrived in the UK last Thursday and based themselves in London giving themselves nine-days to prepare for the game which will be played in front of a sell-out crowd in a town steeped in rugby league history.

Bennett landed at Heathrow on Sunday night following his commitments with the NRL All Stars and said last year’s trip gave a huge lift to the club in a season where they reached the grand final for the first time in nine years.

“We got belted by South Sydney big time in round one last year after we came back so it didn’t really help in that game,” he said.

“But it was a wonderful experience for the whole club being here and it was a huge benefit because I think over the course of the season the experience of being up against a tough team so far away from home clung to us.

“It’s hard to say that it was a huge factor in the success we had but it certainly was a positive experience.”

Saturday’s encounter will see talismanic prop Josh McGuire make his return to action following a torn Achilles that ruled him out of the second half of last season.

Bennett said the Queensland front-rower has showed no ill-effects from surgery and expects him continue where he left off last season.

“He looks really good and he’ll play on Saturday,” he said.

“It’s a serious injury for a forward but probably more so for a back. Darius (Boyd) came back from it and hit the ground running after five months out.

Bennett is yet to choose a skipper for the new season following the retirement of Justin Hodges and said he won’t make a final decision until the eve of the new season.

“It’s something I haven’t decided upon yet, we will do it nearer the time,” he said.

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