Teen star to get Warriors chance

George Williams
George Williams

RISING star George Williams is poised to land a dream Wigan first-team chance – at the age of 17.

Shaun Wane has confirmed he is considering thrusting the academy international into the spotlight after impressing in the junior ranks.

Williams – one of six Warriors youngsters picked for the England academy tour Down Under next month – could even get a taste of Super League in Monday’s home clash against Widnes, following Thomas Leuluai’s injury lay-off.

Wane said: “I’m not sure yet which way I’m going to go just yet.

“But George Williams is a quality half, and if my gut feeling tells me he’s ready, he’ll play.

“If not, I’m definitely looking to play him at some stage soon.”

Williams, who turns 18 this October, was marked out as a promising talent during his amateur days at St Pat’s.

And though Wane is likely to start with a halfback pairing of Brett Finch and Sean O’Loughlin against the Vikings on Monday, Williams could get a taste of the action off the bench or in the upcoming games against Bradford or lowly Wakefield, London or Castleford.

The coach also had the option of recalling Joe Mellor from his loan spell at Widnes.

But instead, the 21-year-old will remain at the Vikings and has been cleared to play against his parent club, Wigan, in Monday’s encounter after serving a one-game ban.

Wane said: “I’m not one of those coaches who says, ‘you can go on loan but you can’t play against us’.

“They do it in football a lot and it’s not right. He can play against us and if it burns us, it burns us. We let Stefan Marsh do it earlier in the season – and on that occasion it burned us – and it’s for us to deal with it.”

Wane will name his 19-man squad today but admitted injured props Paul Prescott and Ben Flower were still doubtful.