SAM Powell hopes an eye-catching run during Wigan’s pre-season friendlies will ensure he sees as little of the M4, M5 and M6 as possible this year.
The halfback is too old for the Under-19s competition.
And given Leigh have pulled the plug on their dual-registration agreement, Powell is resigned to playing for partnership club South Wales Scorpions this season if he can’t muscle his way into Shaun Wane’s matchday squad.
Having made a solitary appearance in 2012, Powell figured in around half of the Warriors’ matches last season - 16 of 35 - as well as turning out six times for Neath-based Championship One outfit Scorpions.
The 21-year-old said: “I set myself a goal last season and ended up playing a few games more than I hoped.
“I’ll do the same again this year - I’ve not decided yet how many - but I’d like to play as many games as possible.
“I’m too old for the Under-19s and so if I don’t play, I’ll go to South Wales, which is something you’ve got to do - but obviously I’d much rather be up here and in the first-team.”
As well as providing cover and competition for first-choice halves Blake Green and Matty Smith, Powell is able to play at hooker.
And if regular No.9 Mike McIlorum - and Green and Smith - are fit, it appears a straight shoot-out between himself and interchange hooker Logan Tomkins for one bench spot this season.
“Waney wants me to work on both (positions),” Powell said.
“Training’s gone well, it’s been tough - the games will soon be on us.”
Powell has flown to Florida with his team-mates as Wane amps up their preparations for the new Super League season, which starts in a month, as well as the World Club Challenge showdown against Sydney Roosters on February 22.
“I went last year and it was good, we get a lot of skills work done out there in the better weather,” he said.
“You get to know the new players better as well, it brings you closer as a team.
“Then when we get back we’re straight into the friendlies, and everyone is pushing for spots.”