GIL Dudson is hoping to cling onto his first-team place following his dream debut - starting today with the visit of Wakefield.
The Wales Test prop could hardly have asked for a better Warriors bow, having come off the bench in the emphatic 28-10 derby triumph over St Helens on Good Friday.
He has kept his place in the 19-man squad for the visit of the Wildcats and – with Lee Mossop and Ben Flower likely to be sidelined by injury for the rest of the month – is hoping to impress.
“It was a great game to be involved in for my first match,” Dudson told the Evening Post.
“The rivalry with St Helens had been drummed into us all week and to get the win was terrific.
“The lads got the last win at Knowsley Road and it was great to do it in the first derby at their new ground as well.
“I was quite happy with how I went, so hopefully I can kick on from here now.”
The 21-year-old made some strong carries in a low-error debut off an inexperienced bench which had an average age of just 20.
“The atmosphere was incredible – better than I expected,” he said.
“I thrived off it.
“When I was sat there, I just wanted to get out there and rip into them.”
Dudson was signed from Crusaders at the end of last season yet, while his former team-mate Flower has established himself as a senior player, Dudson has had to wait for his shot.
He has played for Warriors’ Under-20s and on dual-registration for Championship One strugglers South Wales.
And when Shaun Wane lost front-rowers Mossop and Flower to injury – in addition to Epalahame Lauaki’s suspension – he handed Flower his chance.
“With all the injuries I knew my name would be thrown into the ring,” he said. “I just kept working hard and thankfully my chance came.
“It’s unfortunate for the lads who were out but it’s good for me, and hopefully I can keep my place for a bit now.”
Today’s visit of Wakefield is followed six days later by the match against Dudson’s old club Crusaders in the fourth round of the Challenge Cup.