NEW Giants hero Stephen Wild is ready to put some of his firmest friendships on hold!
The Great Britain back-rower will line up against former club Wigan for the first time in a Super League clash at the JJB Stadium tonight (8.00).
Wild has already had a taste of playing against his old Wigan mates at the JJB in Kris Radlinski's big testimonial game at the beginning of the month.
But the powerful 24-year-old admits that it's tonight's match that really matters.
"I've still a few friends there, but it'll be different," said Wild, who signed for the Warriors at the age of 17, but was told by new coach Ian Millward he had slipped down the Wigan pecking order.
"I had four years in the first team, so it was very difficult deciding to leave.
"But I moved for all the right reasons - to improve myself - and I'm learning under Jon Sharp.
"Ian told me I wasn't among his first-choice second rows next year, so it would have been a backward step if I had stayed.
"As a Wigan lad, you want to play your whole career there, but clubs let players go. There are seven or eight new players in each team this year, which has never happened before. Teams are trying to improve, it's all part of the job these days."
Wild still lives in Wigan and commutes across the M62 with former Wigan teammates Martin Aspinwall and Stuart Jones, along with fellow Lancastrians Paul Smith and Stuart Donlan.
But he insists that Friday's homecoming will be "just another game".
"Playing in Rads' testimonial game the other week has really helped," he added.
"I thought it would bother me, but playing in that friendly will definitely stand both myself and Aspy (Aspinwall) in good stead.
"It means I see tonight as just another game.
"It did feel strange, but it was good because it got all the emotions out of the way.
"When I go back tonight, it won't be as weird. But it will still be a big occasion for me."
"And it's also an occasion that could threaten to divide the family, because my mum and dad are both big Wigan fans.
"In fact, all my family are Wigan supporters, and I'm hoping they'll be with me, although I'm not sure right now!
"My girlfriend Michelle is also a Wigan fan, but she's definitely on my side."