Davies aims to cement wing spot as Manfredi returns to the mix
Tom Davies knows he has 80 minutes to tighten his grip on his Warriors wing spot.
The 20-year-old, who bagged two tries against Leeds last week, has been one of the discoveries of the 2017 campaign.
He will start against Huddersfield tonight hoping to help Wigan claim a victory which will keep their top-four hopes alive.
But with Dom Manfredi set to make his long-awaited return in the reserves tomorrow, Davies knows the competition for places is intensifying – with Wembley on the horizon.
And Davies said: “If I don’t do everything I can, the reality is someone else will take my position.
“That’s in the back of your mind but I see it as a positive – if I’ve got that competition it makes me want it more. I try and make it affect my game in a positive way. It’s all about who wants it the most and who makes the most of their opportunity.”
Davies and Manfredi share many attributes, not least their metre-eating capabilities from their own half.
Last Friday, in a 32-16 loss at Leeds, Davies made an impressive 169 metres – second only behind Rhinos winger Ryan Hall.
And while his two tries brought him wider acclaim, it was his hard carries earlier in sets which impressed Shaun Wane the most.
“Backfield is more important to me than finishing,” said Wane.
“It gives you field position, they’re tough carries out of yardage and they tell you a lot about a player’s character.
“Tom was great last week, by far our best. I love what he does.
“He’s very impressive with how he trains, how he lives his life, and if he keeps doing what he’s doing he’s going to play at Wembley. It’s his spot to lose. The world is his oyster – he can be as good as he wants.”
Davies says making metres from the early carries is an important role for wingers, and ranks Huddersfield’s Jermaine McGillvary as one of the game’s best.
“Not too long ago, people said wingers were muscley touch judges, but the role has changed a lot,” said the academy-graduate.
“You’ve got to help the team out, then the forwards are fresher.
“The way I look at it, everyone will make errors, but if you’re touching the ball 20 times and doing a lot of work, then one or two errors can be overlooked.
“I scored a couple tries last weekend and people shouted my name about, but from my point of view, if I watch a winger I look at who takes the tough carries and McGillvary ranks right near the very top for that – he can finish, but he’s a real handful.”