Escare tipped to add the French polish!

Morgan Escare played against former club Catalans in pre-season

Morgan Escare played against former club Catalans in pre-season

George Williams expects Morgan Escare to be fluent on the pitch today - despite the language barrier.

The Frenchman is set to make his full debut for the Warriors at Salford this afternoon.

And with fellow recruits Joe Burgess and Thomas Leuluai having previously played for the club, Escare is the only player making his first appearance for the club.

The full-back speaks little English, but stand-off Williams has no concerns of any communication breakdowns.

He said: “It’s strange, honestly, because he can’t speak English but he gets what we say.

“If I say something to him on the pitch - like I would do to any other full-back at the club - he’ll nod along and I think, ‘He’s not got a clue what I just said’, but we do the move and he’s in the right place at the right time.

George Williams thinks Wigan are well-primed for a title-defence

George Williams thinks Wigan are well-primed for a title-defence

“He’s got a rugby brain obviously, he does know the game really well.

“I don’t know how he manages it - unless he can speak English and just doesn’t want to!

“But he’s a good player, he had some good seasons at Catalans and I’m looking forward to seeing him play.

“He likes to push around the big fellas and pick an offload, and once he’s through he’s hard to catch.”

He can’t speak English but he gets what we say. It’s strange

George Williams

Williams expects the continuity, and the past experiences of Leuluai and Burgess, to help Wigan get off to a smooth start to their new campaign.

And while some players have said this season is a clean slate, Williams is firmly of the view they are beginning a title defence.

“It’s definitely ours to defend, it’ll take some doing but that’s what we want to do here,” said the 22-year-old.

“We’re a young team who’s won something and we’re not happy with one thing, we want to push on - it’s not just a one-time thing. We are seriously here to win it again.

“I think we’re in a good position.

“Tommy’s been away and come back, he knows the system.”

Wigan won both their matches against Salford last year but both had a one-score margin.

And with Ian Watson retaining the bulk of his squad - and recruiting props Lama Tasi and Lee Mossop from St Helens and Wigan respectively - Williams sees no reason why this contest should not be another tough challenge.

“They are a good side and they will be keen to go, just as much as we will,” he added.

“When we played them at the DW, I think we won in the last minute, they ran us close so this should be a good test for us.”

Scrum-half Michael Dobson, who played for Wigan more than a decade ago, sees today’s clash as the perfect chance to gauge where they are.

“Wigan are the benchmark, they won the competition and they’re always a tough game,” said the Australian.

“It’s probably best to get them early on – it gives you a good idea of where you’re at.

“Across the board they have one of the strongest squads, they have a lot of internationals.

“We had a couple close games against them last year, but we didn’t get over the line and hopefully we can do that in the first game.”