SHAUN Wane received letters from angry fans complaining about the signing of Dan Sarginson.
Now, he reckons the 21-year-old can crack into the England fold after helping take Wigan to within 80 minutes of a Grand Final appearance.
Sarginson has been one of the form centres of Super League.
But not everyone was convinced Wane had unearthed a gem when he brought him in from London Broncos ahead of this season.
He revealed yesterday: “I got a few letters, never mind raised eyebrows. I got hammered for it.
“I don’t get any more letters now – not even ones apologising.
“Dan has been fantastic, and he’s still only a baby – a couple years down the line, he will be out of this world.
“He shouldn’t have played in the World Club Challenge in February because he was still learning our systems, but the way he trained, every single session he did was like his life depended on it – and he made me pick him.
“No-one could beat him in the wrestle room, he’s unbelievably strong.
“He trains at a high intensity, he’s really impressed me and I hope we keep hold of him for a long time.
“I remember seeing him a few years ago when we played London, and on the coach ride home Sam Tomkins was saying how difficult he was. I started watching him more closely and he was awkward in contact.
“He’s got that winning streak, when I spoke to him I could tell he had the desire to win big games.” Sarginson, shortlisted for the Young Player of the Year prize, was named in England’s train-on squad for the Four Nations and will discover on Sunday whether he has made the final cut.
“He’s still got a lot to learn, but his footwork is unbelievable and he would challenge Australia,” added Wane. “Not many got the better of Dan.”
Forward Tony Clubb is set to face Warrington on Friday despite needing stitches in a head wound suffered during training.
Wigan’s 19-man squad will be named today with Wane planning no changes to his panel.
“Last week, those who weren’t carrying bumps had a really good smash up,” said Wane.
“Clubby needed stitches in a cut near his eye, but there were no serious injuries – the positives we got from it far out-weighed the risk to players.”
Warrington hope to welcome back Ben Westwood and Matty Russell from injury for the DW showdown. Phil Bentham is referee.
Meanwhile, Wigan have sent former coach Michael Maguire a good luck video message ahead of Souths’ NRL Grand Final against Canterbury Bulldogs on Sunday.