Shaun Wane has tipped Nick Gregson for a bright future after his winning debut last Friday night.
He came off the bench for the last few minutes as Wigan roared to a 28-6 victory against Leeds - their fifth in succession in Super League.
And Wane said: “Nick has been very close to selection for a couple of weeks.
“He’s a punching backrower but he can play as well, and I like that.
“He’s a tough lad, from good stock – he’s going to be a player.
“He’s someone I admire and he can play in other positions.”
Gregson became the first academy-product since Oliver Gildart last summer to be handed a debut by Wane.
And the 20-year-old went through a range of emotions as he prepared for the Leeds game.
Initially told he may be in the squad as Liam Farrell was a doubt, he arrived at the DW Stadium to discover the England forward was fit.
But he didn’t have to wait for his chance, after George Williams suffered a back problem during warm-up.
Gregson said: “It’s been a hectic day. I found out Faz was okay, then when I got here George was a doubt so I got it into my head that I was playing.
“I was nervous anyway but nothing changed.
“I only played a few minutes but I was blowing, it was quick. The game was won but I came on and made a few carries and it was good.”
Gregson’s dad got to see him lead the Wigan song in the dressing room, banging the ‘drum’ with his boot - a proud moment, even if it was not the musical treat he had planned!
“My dad was supposed to be watching Adele - I told him there was a chance I was playing, so he came here instead,” Gregson added.