Ollie Partington hailed as Wigan Warriors' 'pack leader' by St Helens ace
Young prop Ollie Partington has been hailed as the leader of Wigan’s pack – by a player who knows a thing or two about front-row battles.
St Helens’ Alex Walmsley is widely regarded as one of the top England props. And ahead of the first derby of the year, he has hailed Partington’s mature and energetic displays at the coalface for the Warriors.
The 31-year-old said: “As a forward I look at the middle, and Oliver Partington is definitely leading their pack.
“He’s a young lad but he’s playing like a forward who is a lot older than he is - he’s an old head on his shoulders.
“He’s the leader of their pack and to be honest I’ve been impressed with the way he’s been going.
“He’s a tough competitor, he epitomises a typical Wigan forward with his aggression and the way he carries the ball, and I’m sure he’ll look to lead the pack on Sunday.
“There are some good, homegrown Wigan forwards and it’s always a challenge down the middle.”
Wigan are without a win in four matches but Walmsley says St Helens – who haven’t played since a 6-2 loss to Warrington on June 17 – are not under-estimating their derby rivals.
“They’re not playing like they’d like to be playing but form goes out the window with these derbies,” he said.
“They’re a very good side. These are the games which can turn a season, and I’m sure that’s the attitude Wigan will have.
“There’ll be a lot of emotion in their camp, if we don’t match their intensity we’ll be in for a tough game.”