BEN Flower is enjoying being the ‘old man’ of the Wigan front-row – even if he is only 25! Injuries to Paul Prescott and Epa Lauaki have left the Welshman as easily the most experienced prop in the squad.
And with senior front-rower Lee Mossop also sidelined, he plans to lead by example when Catalan arrive in town tomorrow.
“Maybe before I was going out there and doing my best for the team,” Flower said. “Now I’m focusing on leading the way and hopefully the boys follow.
“I don’t need to tell them because they are good enough. But, as a senior player in the squad, if I can help them along at all then I will.
On the injury crisis in the Wigan pack, he added: “It’s why we have a big squad.
“When everyone is fit, you look at the squad and it’s difficult to get a place, but when you get a lot of injuries you need to pull together the most.”
While accepting Catalan have talent throughout their squad, Flower doesn’t attempt to disguise the fact the front-row battle will be decisive in deciding the outcome.
The French outfit are renowned for grinding teams into submission with their powerful pack.
But Flower insists the Warriors will be ready to meet the challenge head on.
“Catalan are a big side I think it’s one of those teams you need to dominate in the middle,” he recognised.
“If you do that they tend to fall in a hole. The way we are training I think we will give them a scare in the middle - we aim to dominate them.
“It’s all in your head. As long as you turn up and give everything you have, they will find us as tough to handle and it’s about winning that arm-wrestle.
“It’s going to be a tough game and, if we win that arm-wrestle, I think we’ll win the game.”
Flower has been in career-best form early this season, catching the eye with his unforgiving drives and high work-rate.
He has also managed to get on the scoresheet a couple of times, opening the scoring against Castleford last Sunday and also crossing in the epic 17-17 draw against Warrington last month.
“My game is coming toghetr now and I’m enjoying it,” Flower added.
“It’s not very nice when you’re injured, like I was for times last year, and and you have a lot on your shoulders.
“But when you’re enjoying your game and playing well, it tends to help you improve, and hopefully I can do that.”
Wigan’s Good Friday visit of St Helens has been confirmed as a 12.15pm kick-off, for coverage on Sky Sports.