Cooper hopes to earn final call
Manchester United fan Mike Cooper is on tenterhooks as he waits to discover if he will get the chance to run out at Old Trafford on Saturday.
The 24-year-old Warrington forward missed out on his side's Challenge Cup win at Wembley in August but is hoping to keep his place in the team after helping them beat St Helens last weekend to secure a first Grand Final appearance.
Cooper got the nod ahead of England front rower Garreth Carvell for the semi-final but coach Tony Smith has yet to decide whether to change a winning team as part of his "horses-for-courses" selection policy.
"It keeps you on your toes," Cooper said at the Grand Final media day at Old Trafford. "We've got such a strong squad and everyone needs to be playing 100% or you're not going to play.
"You certainly can't relax at our club. We're all striving to be better players.
"Hopefully I've done enough in my last couple of performances to get in the team but you never know. We'll have to wait and see what happens.
"I'm a massive Man Utd fan and my whole family are so it would be extra special for them to see me play here."
Warrington's victory over Saints sparked a rush for tickets, with the club selling half their allocation of 23,000 inside the first 24 hours, as fans clamour to witness potentially a slice of history.
Although they won the league leaders shield in 2011, the club have not been champions since 1955 and Warrington-born Cooper says the town is been gripped by Grand Final fever.
"It's unbelievable," he said. "Obviously we've never experienced this in Super League. You've seen how the crowd react when it's the Challenge Cup and I expect it to be even better for this.
"I think a lot of Warrington fans have been waiting for this day. There's certainly a big buzz around town already and we're expecting a big turn-out."
The Wolves will go into the game as favourites after completing the league double over the Rhinos this year and beating them 35-18 at Wembley but Cooper is wary of the defending champions' record at Old Trafford and is not surprised to see them back there.
"I'm not surprised at all," he said. "We all sat and watched their game last Friday and they were outstanding.
"They've got a squad full of players who know how to get to finals and win them. It's certainly going to be a tough challenge."