Thornley enjoys ‘dream’ debut

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IAIN Thornley admitted his two-try debut at Wakefield was a ‘dream come true’.

The 20-year-old, back at Wigan after a two-year spell in rugby union with Sale, was drafted in to the side at Belle Vue after Josh Charnley was injured on England duty last week.

And he responded with a superbly-taken brace of tries as Wigan warmed up nicely for this weekend’s Challenge Cup semi-final clash against world champions Leeds with a 52-10 victory over the Wildcats.

The ex-Wigan St Patrick’s youngster is ineligible to face the Rhinos having been signed after the registration date for the Challenge Cup.

But he hopes he has given coach Shaun Wane something to think about for the rest of the season and beyond.

“I’m really glad I got the opportunity to play,” he admitted.

“And to score two tries, on debut, is a bit of a dream come true. Hopefully I can keep my face in there and, even if it’s a bench spot, I’ll be happy with it.

“I can cover a few positions so hopefully that’ll work in my favour for now, and I can show Waney I want one of those spots.

“I don’t mind, whether it’s forwards or backs. Centre is my main position but I’m just glad to be playing.

“With George (Carmont) retiring, hopefully this year I can prove what I can do and get that spot next year.”

Warriors moved fast to re-sign Thornley a couple of months ago, two years after seeing him switch codes.

The player signed just before a scheduled trip abroad – but he made sure it was a working holiday to ensure he hit the ground running on his return.

“I went to Mexico and they gave me a training programme while I was there,” Thornley (right) added. “I came back and got straight back in. I knew a lot of the lads from before I left so settling in was pretty easy really.”

With fellow new-boy Matty Smith also cup-tied, Wigan will have to make at least two changes for the semi-final.

Wane said last night he was hopeful Charnley and Mike McIlorum will come back into contention after injury, but props Jeff Lima and Paul Prescott are still doubtful.