Warrior Lloyd may pitch in at centre

Wigan's Rhodri Lloyd on debut in the game against Widnes Vikings
Wigan's Rhodri Lloyd on debut in the game against Widnes Vikings
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JACK Hughes may not be the only forward switched to the centres this season.

Shaun Wane is mulling over the possibility of Welsh prospect Rhodri Lloyd playing in the three-quarters.

All three of Lloyd’s appearances in the first-team last year came in his familiar second-row position.

But he trained with the backs when Wigan started skills sessions at their warm-weather camp in Florida, and may follow Hughes – handed the No.4 shirt as George Carmont’s successor – in competing for a centre spot in 2013.

Wane said: “Rhodri coped really well running in the centres in Florida.

“We had him at backrow and at centre, and he’ll play some games this year – maybe at centre, maybe at second-row.”

Lloyd’s path to a second-row spot is blocked by the considerable presence of Harrison Hansen, Gareth Hock, Liam Farrell and Chris Tuson.

And with Anthony Gelling swelling the second-row ranks following an off-season move from the backs, Lloyd would fall further down the pecking order.

A fluent Welsh-speaker from Caerphilly – he went to Ydgol Gfon Cwm Rhynnd high school – the 19-year-old surfaced on Wigan’s radar when he impressed for Crusaders’ academy side.

He enjoyed a dream debut against Leeds last June, seizing his chance when Hock, Hansen and Tuson were ruled out through injury or suspension.

Yet Wane’s men thumped the champions 50-8 and Lloyd basked in the victory alongside Manchester United star Rio Ferdinand in the dressing room.

He made two more appearances that month – against Widnes and Bradford – before slipping out of the frame, but benefited from involvement for Wales in the end of season international series against England and France.

Wane added: “He benefited from being exposed to a high level of competition.

“I see him as a quality first-team player and his desire to learn and improve is fantastic.”