World Club Challenge: Wigan Warriors must not be in awe of Sydney Roosters

George Williams
Wigan Warriors v Sydney Roosters will be a 19:00 GMT kick-off on Sunday

Wigan Warriors must not be overawed by the star-studded Sydney Roosters in Sunday's World Club Challenge, says stand-off George Williams.

Australia World Cup winners Cooper Cronk and Boyd Cordner are among the star names expected to feature for the National Rugby League champions against the Warriors.

England half-back Williams was in the Wigan side that beat Cronulla in the 2017 game at the DW Stadium.

"I appreciate how good they are and what they've done in the game," he told BBC Sport.

"As players you want to test yourself against the best and see where you're at. Cooper Cronk is proven world class and has won pretty much everything there is to win in the game and it will be nice to go up against him.

"But we can't show them too much respect. We still have to knuckle down and get on with our jobs, no matter how good they are."

READ MORE: How 'Pommie prop' Adrian Morley became a Roosters legend

LISTEN: Live commentary on Wigan v Sydney Roosters

Williams representing his home town

Wigan have a proud World Club Challenge history, from their gruelling 1987 win over Manly in a revived competition, seeing off Penrith under the Anfield floodlights in 1991, beating Brisbane in their own backyard in 1994 and their most recent victory over Cronulla two years ago.

Even in defeat, the Cherry and Whites have made such fixtures a special event, with packed crowds for the 2012 final against Wayne Bennett's St George Illawarra and the World Club Series game against the Broncos in 2016.

Another strong attendance is expected for this game, which sees new Wigan head coach Adrian Lam taking on not only his former club, but also potentially his son Lachlan, who is in the Roosters squad.

"I'm from Wigan so it makes it that little bit more special," Williams said.

"I was a ball-boy for the St George game and it's a dream come true for me again, another opportunity. A Wigan lad playing the Roosters at the DW, doesn't come much bigger.

"It's similar to the pre-St Helens game weeks, you always get a bit of pressure from people around town. Everyone wants to win it.

"It's massive. I spoke to the boys at training a few times to say what a massive challenge it is, they've got some world-class players but we have been here before when we played Cronulla, and we're really looking forward to it."

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