MIKE McIlorum has been offered a chance to extend his stay with Wigan.
Talks have started with the 24-year-old hooker – out of contract at the end of this season – over a new deal to keep him at the DW into his peak years.
McIlorum has established himself as a regular starter since the departure of Mark Riddell in 2010.
And his performances have seen him break into Steve McNamara’s England set-up.
Shaun Wane is understandably keen to secure the future of the Wigan Academy graduate.
When asked had talks taken place, Wane admitted: “Yes – and I absolutely want him to stay.
“I’m a big fan of Micky Mac, I love him as a player.
“He’s very tough and he’s still got a lot of improvement. I’m desperate to keep him.”
The Wigan coach has seen first-hand the development of McIlorum, who came through the ranks under the watchful eye of Wane.
“He’s been with us since he was 15, he’s into our system, he knows me,” Wane acknowledged.
“People like that, who have come through our system, who are quality first-teamers, it’s a no-brainer.
“We have to keep them, no question about that.
“I’m hoping it’s a formality – I’ll be disappointed if it’s not.”
McIlorum is one of four key players out of contract at the end of this season.
It’s understood skipper Sean O’Loughlin has already agreed a new, long-term deal and agreed to finish his career with his home-town club.
Wane is still hoping Australian stand-off Brett Finch will extend his stay after some eye-catching displays.
The fourth, Thomas Leuluai, confirmed last year he would be leaving to return to his native New Zealand with the Warriors.
Meanwhile, Wane has announced his 19-man squad to face Huddersfield tomorrow night.
SQUAD: S Tomkins, Charnley, Goulding, Carmont, Finch, Leuluai, McIlorum, Mossop, Hansen, Hock, O’Loughlin, Lima, Farrell, Tuson, Lauaki, Dudson, Gelling, Hughes, Crosby.
THE DW Stadium will tonight play host to a special fans forum event to promote next weekend’s Magic event at the Etihad Stadium, Manchester.
The event, hosted by BBC Radio Manchester, will take place from 7-9pm, with players from Wigan, St Helens, Warrington, Salford and Widnes set to appear.
FOR a Giants v Warriors preview, see tomorrow’s Evening Post.