SAINTS utility forward Mark Flanagan will not want for motivation when he makes his first Magic Weekend appearance against his former team Wigan Warriors at the Etihad Stadium on Sunday May 27 (6.00pm).
Flanagan, who spent two seasons with West Tigers in the NRL between leaving Wigan and joining Saints, has previously missed out on the unique sporting concept that hosts a full round of Stobart Super League fixtures in one venue over a single weekend and is determined to make up for lost time.
“I’ve never had the chance to play in a Magic event before so I am really looking forward to my debut this year,” said the 24- year-old.
“It will be a great occasion and the move to Manchester’s Etihad Stadium should hopefully draw in a huge crowd so we can have a great weekend of Rugby League.
“One of the greatest aspects of our sport is the friendly interaction between different fans from every club that enjoy Rugby League together. We have witnessed this at Wembley finals and now we have the opportunity through the Magic Weekends, which is even better because every Super League club is playing.
“The fans are a credit to our sport and I don’t think you could have a concept like the Magic Weekend in any other sport. Hopefully we will get a larger number of St Helens fans down to the Etihad for what will be a fantastic weekend for Rugby League supporters.”
There is added excitement for the St Helens player as the local rivalry fixture pits Flanagan against his former team following two previous defeats against the Warriors this season.
“We have played against Wigan twice already this season and lost both times, so the Magic Weekend will be our chance to get our own back,” said Flanagan.
“The local derby matches against Wigan are great spectacles for fans and great games to be involved in. The rivalry between the two clubs is massive.
“It’s a bit different playing against your old team-mates and I have some good friends at Wigan but as soon as I pull on the club shirt on I am fully focused on the upcoming 80 minutes. I am fully committed to St Helens and I am looking to get the two points on Sunday.”
Unreserved tickets for the Magic Weekend have sold out, but reserved seating tickets are still available and cost from just £45 adult and £22.50 concession for day tickets. Tickets for the full weekend cost from just £60 adult and £30 concessions and are available by calling 0844 856 1113 or by visiting www.rugbyleaguetickets.co.uk