Column: Three Wigan Warriors players tipped for eye-catching 2024 campaigns, including breakout youngster

Watch more of our videos on Shots! 
and live on Freeview channel 276
Visit Shots! now
Wigan’s senior side concluded their pre-season schedule with a dominant 40-0 victory over Hull at the MKM Stadium, hopefully a sign of things to come in 2024.

The likes of Bevan French, Jai Field and Harry Smith joined a strong forward pack that was also named against Wakefield Trinity, while centre Adam Keighran made his first appearance for the club.

Matt Peet’s squad were dealt a hammer blow however, with Sam Walters suffering a collarbone injury late in the second half and being forced from the action.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

It has been confirmed that the 6’7” back-rower suffered a broken collarbone, and could be out of action for at least three months if he requires surgery.

Patrick Mago crosses for a rare try during the pre-season friendly against HullPatrick Mago crosses for a rare try during the pre-season friendly against Hull
Patrick Mago crosses for a rare try during the pre-season friendly against Hull

Rising youngsters Jacob Douglas and Zach Eckersley were named on the wings, with Liam Marshall having missed the game due to the sad passing of his mother, Debbie.

The pair both stood-out in the victory, with 19-year-old Douglas showing confidence to back himself in the corner against a rushing opposition full-back in Jack Walker, while centre or winger Eckersley prevented a try for Lewis Martin with a superb tackle.

The 20-year-old, who was one of seven debutants against Hull KR in 2022, makes the list of ones to watch this year, having impressed out on loan in the previous campaign that included five tries in eight appearances for Widnes Vikings.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

He is next in line for an outside-back spot, with Abbas Miski currently fighting to make fitness ahead of the season start. The Lebanon international winger is set to feature for the reserves against Huddersfield Giants prior to round one against Castleford Tigers.

Patrick Mago also impressed from the interchange bench against the Black & Whites, scoring a rare try in the win at the MKM Stadium.

The 29-year-old prop forward looks to have had a strong pre-season ahead of the title-defending campaign, and could be set for his biggest year yet in Cherry & White.

He found his best form with the club midway through the 2023 campaign, which also coincided with him fighting for a contract extension.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

The former NRL man was rewarded with exactly that for 2024, with competition for places likely to bring the best out of him.

Meanwhile, something Wigan arguably have not had for a while is a hooker who can be lively from the play-the-ball and add to the attacking options.

That’s no disrespect to ex-Wigan hooker Sam Powell or current nine Brad O’Neill, who are different kinds of players.

But new recruit Kruise Leeming jumped out with every chance he could in the final game of the senior side’s pre-season schedule, something that stood out against Tony Smith’s outfit.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

The 28-year-old former Leeds Rhinos captain is up there for one of the signings of the 2024 campaign, and hopefully he can show that during his debut season in Cherry & White.

Boss Peet has previously stated that he believes having Leeming, O’Neill and Tom Forber will provide a good mix and that has been evident during the pre-season schedule.