Burgess: If you’re contracted here you’re good enough

Joe Burgess is 22 but still the most experienced player in Wigan's backline
Joe Burgess is 22 but still the most experienced player in Wigan's backline

Joe Burgess has given a ringing endorsement to the fringe players charged with helping Wigan through their injury crisis.

Shaun Wane is missing at least a dozen of his frontline stars for tonight’s home showdown with third-placed Salford.

Morgan Escare was the latest player to be sidelined long-term.

Burgess, though, says they will not be making any pre-emptive excuses for a poor display.

He said: “It is testing, but we have a no excuses motto here and we’ll stick to what we know.

“Wigan is a top club and if you’re contracted here you’re good enough to play and good enough to cope with this.

“It’s not the best of times, but we’ve got to handle it and I’m sure we will.

“The (number of injuries) is quite extreme, but it’s no excuse.

“We’ll take it on us to prove we can handle it.”

Burgess, 22, enjoyed a rapid rise to the Wigan ranks.

After impressing in pre-season in 2014, he was given a crack and nailed down the left wing spot.

This year, wingers Liam Marshall and Tom Davies have followed his example.

And with few injured players returning any time soon, he said the likes of Liam Forsyth, Romain Navarrete, Joe Bretherton and Jack Wells have a golden chance to follow the trend and cement a regular spot.

“You don’t want to hope a team-mate gets injured, but when it happens you have an opportunity,” he said.

“There’s a few players out and the others coming in have a chance to prove themselves.

“Look at Marshy - we knew he was a good player but we didn’t know he was that good until he came in.”

After Marshall scored four tries against Warrington, Burgess tweeted he would be going to the Job Centre. “I was serious!” he smiled.

Third-placed Salford are a point ahead of Wigan, in fifth.

“They’re above us in the ladder, they’re going well and it’ll be a real test,” said Burgess, who dismissed the 54-4 rout at Castleford as “a blip”.

“We’re back on own ground - I’m not the biggest fan of playing at the Jungle.

“We want to finish top but the focus is on the wins rather than looking at the table.”