Tyler Dupree ‘hungry for more’ success as rising star prepares for Old Trafford debut
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Dupree, 23, was thrown straight into the action by head coach Matt Peet, enjoying a try-scoring debut in the impressive 44-18 win over rivals Leigh on home soil in round 20.
He has gone on to make seven more appearance for Wigan, with his next set to be the biggest game of his career - the Super League Grand Final.
It’s exactly where the youngster wants to be, with Saturday to mark Wigan’s first appearance at Old Trafford since 2018. They face Catalans Dragons, who ended Saints’ years of dominance with a 12-6 semi-final scoreline in Perpignan.
Dupree said: “I wanted to be playing in the big games consistently and there’s silverware at the end of this one. I’ve had a little taste of it with the League Leaders’ Shield and I’m definitely hungry for more.
“With the group that’s here, there’s no reason why we can’t do it.
“I didn’t come here just to fill numbers. I felt like I came here to better myself and hopefully progress and better the team and hopefully I’ve done that with my performances.
“I’m just happy to be here, I’m playing regularly and I’m excited for it to continue.”
With four-time Super League winner Sean O’Loughlin and fellow Wigan legend Thomas Leuluai in the coaching ranks, there’s plenty of experience around the Wigan camp for Dupree to lean on ahead of the big dance.
A mixture of excitement and nerves ahead, Dupree admits that he has previously leant on former skipper O’Loughlin prior to games for advice - with head coach Peet encouraging his players to discuss their emotions ahead of the sport’s showcase event in Manchester.
Super League officials have also confirmed that ticket sales have already surpassed the attendance from Catalans’ last – and first ever – Grand Final appearance in 2021 against St Helens.
Dupree continued: “This is a team that has made the Grand Final quite a lot. I think a lot of people will be used to it, and some people like myself who aren’t and may be easily overwhelmed by it all.
“There’s plenty of talk in the lead up as to why we are good enough, but also not to get ahead of ourselves as well.
“We’ve got Liam Farrell, the coaching staff in Lockers [O’Loughlin] and Tommy that have all done it.
“Winning is in the culture of this club. A lot of people have done it here. I asked O’Loughlin before the semi-final game what I should do because I felt that nervous but he just said play your own game and do what you do best.
“Saturday is the biggest 80 minutes of the year. The last few weeks we’ve been playing like it’s a Grand Final anyway. It’s nothing new to us but there’s obviously more on the line.”