BRETT Finch is looking forward to helping nurture the next generation of Wigan halfbacks.
Promising youngsters Joe Mellor and Sam Powell are expected to be pushing for places in the senior side in 2012.
Shaun Wane decided not to sign a new player when experienced scrum-half Paul Deacon hung up his boots to take a coaching role. And with Finch and Thomas Leuluai the only senior halfbacks left in the squad, it leaves Mellor and Powell very much in the frame to play some part.
Vastly-experienced Australian Finch has trained alongside the academy graduates for the past few weeks and is happy to help if he can.
“I don’t see it as a pressure, but as a responsibility,” he said.
“I don’t know how much I can help them, but if I can I will. It’s always nice to see young blokes coming through, and sometimes they help me because they’re so enthusiastic, and that rubs off on the old blokes like me who have been here and done it.”
Not only will Mellor and Powell be called on to provide cover and competition, their first-team chances will improve rapidly if Shaun Wane decides to continue alternating Leuluai between half-back and hooker during matches – a ploy successfully used by Michael Maguire last season.
His other option would be to give young hooker Logan Tomkins a bench spot for when No.9 Mike McIlorum is rested.
“It depends on what role Tommy will play,” Finch continued.
“Boys like Joe, Sam and Logan, I’m sure they’ll get an opportunity at some stage and I think it’s exciting time for Wigan with these kids coming through.”
Their performances may also determine whether Wigan move to replace Leuluai when he leaves the club at the end of 2012 to return to New Zealand with the Warriors.
Finch is also out of contract at the end of next season.