SAM Powell will step into Matty Smith’s half-back role when Huddersfield Giants visit the DW Stadium on Friday.
Wigan will be looking for their first win of the season following their round-one draw at Widnes and, with a World Club Series clash with Brisbane Broncos the following week, Warriors are looking to find their best form.
Smith was handed a one-match ban after accepting an early guilty plea for kicking out at Widnes’ Rhys Hanbury in the closing minutes of last Thursday’s match.
And Shaun Wane has already decided Powell will get a chance to impress his boss over other youngsters such as utility back Ryan Hampshire.
“Sam Powell is an out-and-out half and, although Rocky Hampshire can play in the halves as well as full-back, he didn’t blow me away with his performance at fullback,” said Wane.
“So he’s learning to understand what we need at our level.
“It’s more than likely going to be Sam Powell.”
Powell, 22, made 22 appearances for Warriors last season, including at hooker in the Grand Final loss to St Helens, and came off the bench at the Select Security Stadium last week.
“He’s a great half, he plays nice and straight,” added Wane.
“He’s very dynamic and a smart player so I’m very comfortable with him.”