Gildart rewarded in squad numbers for next season

Oliver Gildart replaces Dan Sarginson in the 'starting' centres

Oliver Gildart replaces Dan Sarginson in the 'starting' centres

Oliver Gildart has been promoted to a starting spot in Wigan’s squad numbers.

The 20-year-old centre, who wore No.20 last season, takes the No.4 shirt vacated by NRL-bound Dan Sarginson.

Joe Burgess and Thomas Leuluai, returning to the club following stints away, take the No.5 and No.7 respectively.

Two other recruits, French internationals Morgan Escare (22) and Romain Navarrete (26), start outside the ‘starting’ side.

England international John Bateman hasn’t got a place in the XIII either, with Joel Tomkins retaining the No.11 shirt - though he expects his future to lie in the middle, rather than at second-row.

And winger Dom Manfredi switches from No.5 to the other wing spot, No.2, despite being ruled out for the bulk of next season through injury.

Squad numbers are often seen as an early indication of a club’s pecking order, though coach Shaun Wane has repeatedly played down their significance.

The No.18 shirt has once again been reserved for Warriors supporters. There are no other vacant numbers, suggesting Wane’s recruitment for next season is complete.

Ryan Sutton (19), Lewis Tierney (21), Nick Gregson (23), Joe Bretherton (24) and Jake Shorrocks (25) are among last year’s homegrown players to have moved up following impressive seasons.

Connor Farrell (27) has returned from a loan spell at Widnes and Liam Forsyth, who returns to Wigan following a year at Bath RU, takes No.32.

The Warriors start the new season on February 11 against Salford, a week before they play NRL champions Cronulla in the World Club Challenge.

2017 squad numbers:

1. Sam Tomkins

2. Dom Manfredi

3. Anthony Gelling

4. Oliver Gildart

5. Joe Burgess

6. George Williams

7. Thomas Leuluai

8. Frank-Paul Nuuausala

9. Michael McIlorum

10. Ben Flower

11. Joel Tomkins

12. Liam Farrell

13. Sean O’Loughlin

14. John Bateman

15. Tony Clubb

16. Sam Powell

17. Taulima Tautai

18. Wigan Fans

19. Ryan Sutton

20. Willie Isa

21. Lewis Tierney

22. Morgan Escare

23. Nick Gregson

24. Joe Bretherton

25. Jake Shorrocks

26. Romain Navarrete

27. Connor Farrell

28. Jack Wells

29. Jack Higginson

30. Kyle Shelford

31. Macauley Davies

32. Liam Forsyth

33. Josh Ganson

34. Gabriel Fell

35. Liam Marshall

36. Tom Davies

37. Callum Field

38. Caine Barnes