WIGAN’S young guns have begun a punishing training camp with the Royal Marines.
While the senior players are currently training in sun-kissed Florida, those on the fringes of the first-team have headed for the English south coast for a far harsher experience.
They will spend three days with the elite Commandos at their training base in Lympstone in Deveon, enduring long-distance runs and gruelling sessions in freezing temperatures.
Assistant coach Paul Deacon said: “The military camps are more for the psychological side.
“I know from my own experience, I was at the end of my playing career when I went on one here with Wigan (when Michael Maguire was in charge).
“They’re not nice. But it’s in those situations when you’re not feeling your best and you have to carry on going, that you do learn the most about yourself.”
Those taking part in the Marine camp include the six youngsters promoted to the first-team this season, such as Lewis Tierney, Ryan Hampshire and George Williams, as well as players from the Under-19s ranks.
Head of youth John Winder said: “It will be tough – similar to the one the first-team did in Scotland a couple of years ago.
“For the young lads, it’s an introduction into something they’ve never done before, it’ll teach them a lot about themselves and we’ll learn things about them as well.
“It takes them out of their comfort zone, and we’ve found in the past it a good bonding experience as well.
“For the players who have stepped up into the first-team, it gives them a bit of a culture shock and an indication of what hard work is expected of them.”