Chris Hankinson is hoping he can add the spark against London tonight as his career takes off – on and off the pitch!
The 25-year-old will become a fully-qualified electrician when he finishes his apprenticeship this summer.
And he has already spoken to Sam Powell – who is on the same course – about creating up their own business together.
“We’ve got a few exams to go but in summer we should be qualified,” said Hankinson. “Sam and I are talking about getting a company started, called S&C Electrical.”
The Tomkins brothers all have business ventures and Warrington captain Chris Hill has his own plumbing firm, and Hankinson sees the logic in laying the foundation for a future career early.
“We had a talk a few weeks ago about life after rugby, and it was surprising to see how many players don’t have much to go to,” he said.
“A lot of the younger players don’t have anything outside of rugby. If you had a career-ending injury, what would you do?
“Obviously, your finances would stop so what you’re getting from rugby, you need to try to match that outside of it. Rugby League Cares does a lot, and offer you certain courses – it’s helped me anyway.”
On the pitch, Hankinson is relishing the run of games he has had since breaking into the side on Good Friday.
A mid-season recruit from Swinton last year, he showed promise in his first two matches before his campaign was cut short by an eye injury.
The centre has proven his versatility this season and went into captain’s run yesterday unsure where he would play – wing, centre or second-row – because of uncertainly over Dan Sarginson.
Either way, his rock-solid defence has certainly impressed coach Adrian Lam.
“I could potentially be on the wings or in the back row,” he said.
“Centre is my preferred position but I’m happy to play anywhere. I played back-row a few years ago and I’ve got the muscle memory, it’s good to have the experience and to be able to show to Lammy that if you’re not in the starting 13, you can be a utility player from the back.
“I’m really grateful for the game time. You’ve got to be patient and train well, that’s the key thing. You’ve got to take your chance when you get it.
“I’ve really tried to knuckle down on my defence and not let anyone over. I really want to get forward with the attack as well, and score some points for the boys, but yeah, I’m really happy to get a run of games.
“Hopefully I can stay in the team and keep helping the team to get to where we should be.”
A victory tonight would see Wigan move to within two points of the top-four. Their poor start to the season included a shock loss in the capital in February.
Hankinson added: “We know we’ve got a point to prove, we need to right some of the wrongs from the last time we played them.
“No disrespect to London but we know we should be coming away with a result and the priority is to come away with two points and a good performance.”