'Excitement' about Wigan Warriors' wing options
Wigan assistant coach Matty Peet has brushed aside suggestions they will start the season short on wing options.
And he is “excited” at the prospect of seeing two more youngsters battle for a chance in Adrian Lam’s side.
Joe Burgess left to join Salford at the end of last season and with Liam Marshall’s knee injury likely to rule him out until the summer, Dom Manfredi is the only specialist winger available when the new campaign gets underway in March.
But Peet says three other players are candidates for a role on the flank.
Ex-Salford centre Jake Bibby finished last season on the wing – he scored Wigan’s only try in the Grand Final – and they also have academy-graduates Umyla Hanley and Sam Halsall in the mix.
The two Shevington Sharks juniors debuted in Wigan’s 42-0 defeat against St Helens last season.
Hanley’s preferred position is full-back while Halsall favours centre, but both can play on the wing and Peet says they have an “extra incentive” to work hard in pre-season training.
Asked about the wing options with Marshall absent, Peet said: “It’s something we’re excited about.
“Dom will be back, Jake is still there, and Umyla and Sam should be looking at this as an opportunity to try and get into the side.
“Both can play on the wing and there’s an extra incentive for both of them to be working as hard as they can in pre-season to try and get that opportunity.”
Peet says making an additional signing risked stalling their development.
“That’s always been the philosophy at this club not to block the pathways of the young players and to give them the chance if they deserve it,” he added.
Read unlimited Wigan Athletic and Wigan Warriors stories for less than 70p a week by subscribing to our sports package here