PROP James Greenwood is confident he is better-equipped to break into Wigan’s first team following a year away from the club.
The 23-year-old spent last season on loan with London Broncos to gain Super League experience.
He played 16 matches for the struggling outfit, who won just one match all season and were relegated to the Championship.
Despite their on-field woes, Greenwood has no doubts his time in the capital helped him develop.
And he hopes to force his way into Shaun Wane’s during their current training camp in Florida, and when the pre-season games begin in January.
Greenwood said: “I benefited a lot from my time down there.
“I had a lot of game-time and gained Super League experience, which is what I wanted.
“It seemed like a good idea at the time, and it turned out that way.
“London was a bit different to what I was used to at Wigan.
“It was a tough season.
“We had to try and stay as positive as we could do – we had some unlucky games and some close results.”
Coach Shaun Wane has described Greenwood’s return as feeling like having “a new signing”.
He said: “As a club we see and feel the benefits of letting players go on loan.
“It’s something Joel Tomkins and Josh Charnley did, other players have done it, and I’m sure James has come back as a better player.
“He probably wouldn’t have got the same opportunities had he stayed here, plus he’s got the experience of going into a new environment and living away.”
Greenwood made two substitute appearances for Wigan in their double-winning 2013 campaign.
Now aged 23, he realises he has to kick on and figure more frequently if he is to carve out a career with the Warriors.
But on his paper, his pathway to the first-team would appear to be blocked by more experienced players.
The four props who led their Grand Final charge last term – Dom Crosby, Eddy Pettybourne, Tony Clubb and Ben Flower – are still at the club.
And they have been joined by recruits Taulima Tautai, Lee Mossop and Larne Patrick, arrivals which will amp up competition for places in the middle of the park.
Greenwood added: “I’ll get through pre-season first and see what happens.
“Hopefully I’ll get more shots at the Wigan team.
“It’s good to have that competition, you help each other but you’re all competing because there are so many places.
“You have to have that, and that’s why Wigan are so successful.”
Hooker Logan Tomkins has also returned to Wigan following a loan spell, at Salford.
Wigan are now a week into their training camp in Florida. They have a training session with American players on Thursday.