Ben Flower is backing Wigan Warriors' young forwards to flourish

Ben Flower may have left Wigan but he will be tracking the progress of the club’s young forwards in 2021.

Kai Pearce-Paul is a "special" player, says Ben Flower
Kai Pearce-Paul is a "special" player, says Ben Flower

And he has tipped them to continue their own progress to help keep the club on track for more success this season.

The Welsh prop, who has joined Super League newcomers Leigh, was heartened to see so many academy-products edge into the side in recent years.

Ollie Partington and Morgan Smithies have gone on to establish themselves in the side while Joe Shorrocks, Ethan Havard and Liam Byrne are among those who have appeared for Adrian Lam’s side.

“They’ve all done really well,” said Flower, who won three Grand Finals, a World Club Challenge and a Challenge Cup during nine seasons with the Warriors.

“Ethan is going to be a great player, he’s still young, he’s shown what he can do and is going to be better and better.

Ollie reminds me in many ways of a young me, the way he plays – he’s been my favourite player for a while.

“Joe Shorrocks is a workhorse who does everything right and you’ve got others coming through like Ben Kilner and James McDonnell, who is as hard as rock – tackling him in training is like hitting a wall!”

Fans also saw forward Kai Pearce-Paul, recruited from London a year ago, make his debut last season and Flower is confident he has a bright future.

“He is going to be something special, when he establishes himself he has the potential to be an unreal player,” added the 33-year-old.

Read unlimited Wigan Athletic and Wigan Warriors stories for less than 70p a week by subscribing to our sports package here