Liam Marshall has revealed the debt of gratitude he has to two of his current Warriors team-mates - who bribed him into rugby league!
Marshall has been a revelation during his breakthrough campaign, scoring nine tries in just eight matches for Wigan.
Despite having a dad who played for Wigan, Marshall’s sporting passion was football when he was at Standish High School.
But pals Jake Shorrocks and Nick Gregson persuaded him to play for the school’s league team... and then lured him to playing for their Shevington Sharks amateur side by paying him!
Marshall, 20, revealed: “I played football up until high school until I met Jake and Nick, they were the two lads that influenced me to play rugby. They went to the same school as me.
“I played for my school team and they said, ‘You should come and play for our amateur team’.
With Marshall and Davies doing so well, fit-again Lewis Tierney may have to wait for his chance
“They bet me five pounds that I wouldn’t come and play for their team, so I did it for the money and it kicked off from there! I made five pounds for signing on. They paid up, too, which was a surprise.”
Marshall was working as a trainee accountant a year ago and playing part-time with Swinton.
But Wane gave him another chance with his hometown club, and he has held onto his spot since his debut against Leigh at the start of March. He is set to hang onto his spot for the visit of Catalans on Sunday – when dad David, who played 39 times for Wigan over four seasons from 1987, will be watching on from the directors’ box.
“He’s a guest of the chairman on Sunday, I’m not sure how he’s bagged that... he’s not shut up about it all week,” smiled Marshall.
“He always comes to my games, but to be fair he’s not a parent who pressures me.”
Wane has been so pleased with Marshall’s form, he is keeping him on the left wing and switching fit-again Joe Burgess to centre until Oliver Gildart is back available in the summer.
“I’m very happy with Liam. His attitude is fantastic,” said Wane. “He’s listened and learned. He’s a natural tryscorer, we’ve not helped with that – that’s just him.”
Marshall underlined his eye for a try with his spectacular finish against St Helens, when he managed to ground the ball in the corner before crashing into touch.
“I thought I got it down, it was just my legs I was worried about, whether they were touching (the ground) or not,” said Marshall.
Wane has been equally pleased with Tom Davies, another academy-graduate to debut this year, on the right wing.
He has not been as prolific but he made more metres – 158 – than any of his team-mates at Wakefield, and has been eating up ground in all of his matches.
“If you look at Tom’s individual carries and study him, he’s done really well,” said Wane.
“There was one instance on Monday when Wakefield kicked the ball behind the line, and they had three defenders on him and he got out and made a 30m break - so the middles love him.”
With Marshall and Davies doing so well, fit-again Lewis Tierney may have to wait for his chance back in the side.
Wane admitted he has yet to decide and will weigh up the form of his current two wingers with the credits which Scotland international Tierney has already earned from past performances.
“It’s not a dilemma, it’s just whoever I think is in form will play,” he said. “I’m very happy with the two wingers now though. Lewis has some credit in the bank and I rate him very highly so we’re in a good position, but whatever I do, I’ll be dead honest with the players, and they’ll accept it.
“I also have to be smart on getting them game-time, so I have to factor in the fact we have Castleford the week after, when our next reserve game is, and look at who needs game-time. It’s trying to find the balance.
“If I need to play Lewis because there’s no reserve game and I need to give him some game-time then I’ll make that call, but if that’s the case, they’ll understand they’ve done nothing wrong - they’ve done very good.”
Wane confirmed yesterday Burgess will replace suspended Anthony Gelling in the centres, albeit taking the left role and Liam Forsyth switching to the right.
Micky McIlorum is also set to return to the bench, more than a week after his long-awaited comeback.
And Willie Isa also has a chance of returning, possibly in place of Joel Tomkins who was having a foot injury scanned yesterday.
“He doesn’t feel it’s serious,” added Wane.