Gregson tipped for big future

Nick Gregson is congratulated after his debut Wigan try
Nick Gregson is congratulated after his debut Wigan try

Joel Tomkins has saluted young-gun Nick Gregson for quickly settling into the Wigan side – in a foreign position.

With the Warriors side decimated by injuries it has allowed several fringe players to step into the side.

Gregson has taken the elevation in his stride, playing in the last seven matches.

And in their last two games, the 20-year-old switched from back-row to the pivotal stand-off role.

While he and his team-mates endured a 62-0 drubbing at Wakefield, they responded with a gutsy 26-12 win against Castleford last week, in which Gregson scored his debut try.

And he is expected to keep his role for tonight’s visit of Huddersfield.

Tomkins said: “Nick has stood up and he’s playing in the halves, which is not his natural position.

“He’s a similar mould as Sean O’Loughlin in that he can play in the halves, but he’s really a backrower.

“He’s a quiet kid, so it’s tough to come into the halves and be the one to boss players around.

“But he’s doing that, and it’s pleasing to see him take his chance.

“He’s still learning and still young, but he’s really level-headed and that’s a great quality to have.

“I think he’s got a big future.”

Last week, Wigan welcomed back John Bateman and Dom Crosby from injury and more will be dripfed back into the side before the end of the month.

Prop Ben Flower and centre Anthony Gelling should feature tonight, with O’Loughlin, Dom Manfredi and Liam Farrell in the frame for next week

“If you look at the boys on the sidelines – Sam, Lockers, Faz, Gells, George, Manfredi – it’s crazy when you think about it,” said Tomkins.

To add to Wigan’s recent woes, a virus tore through the squad leaving England forward Tomkins one of only a handful of fit players at training in the build-up to the games against Wakefield and Castleford.

“That’s why, to me, the win against Cas’ was the most pleasing performance of the year,” said the 29-year-old.

“We showed a lot of character to bounce back from the Wakefield defeat.

“The build-up to the game was more nervous than normal – when we’re at home, we’re usually quite relaxed.

“We were a bit nervous, and I think that came down to the fact we had to put it right, and it was so pleasing to do that.

“Everyone stood up and that’s what was so pleasing.

“We didn’t want to make a big issue of the illness, we didn’t want to take anything away from Wakefield because they were really good.

“But it was the toughest I’ve ever known.

“We had six fit players for training one day!

“It was similar before we played Castleford – we’ve got lads who are just doing team run and then playing.

“We have been doing it tough, but we can see light at the end of the tunnel, we are getting lads back now.”

Huddersfield may be bottom of the Super League ladder but they registered a confidence-boosting 11-0 win against Warrington in their last outing.

And Tomkins added: “That was coming for them.

“They’ve not been far off in some of the games they’ve lost this season.

“And if you look at their team, it’s really strong.

“They usually turn up when they play against us, it’s always a grind up the middle.”