Wigan Warriors fans pick out which young players they have high hopes for throughout the 2023 season and beyond

The 18th man contributors have picked out which Wigan Warriors youngsters they are excited to see more of throughout the next season.

A young team made up of academy and reserves players face Whitehaven at the Recreation Ground on Sunday afternoon (K.O. 3pm).

It will provide an opportunity for a number of the younger members of Matty Peet’s squad to give a good impression of themselves.

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Here are the players the 18th man contributors have high hopes for:

A number of young players are set to feature this weekend in Wigan Warriors' pre-season friendly against WhitehavenA number of young players are set to feature this weekend in Wigan Warriors' pre-season friendly against Whitehaven
A number of young players are set to feature this weekend in Wigan Warriors' pre-season friendly against Whitehaven

Stephen Ford

Quite a few players from the 2022 squad have left with only two new signings from outside the club.

Although for me this leaves us too thin, it will give several youngsters a chance to grab some first team appearances during 2023.

With the departures of John Bateman, Matty Nicholson and James McDonnell from the second row, Junior Nsemba will get some game time in 2023.

Junior NsembaJunior Nsemba
Junior Nsemba
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I believe that the club rates him very highly so hopefully we may see the beginning of a potential future star.

The vast majority of times that I’ve seen him play has been on Wigan TV and although he has been pretty competent, I’ve often thought that he lacks a bit of aggression and confidence.

However, I am sure that Matty Peet and his staff are far superior than myself in assessing the future potential of young players.

Having seen videos and photos of Nsemba in pre-season training he looks like he has put on quite a bit of weight and he is a giant of a lad.

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The thought of him causing havoc in the middle of the park for say five or so games during the season would be brilliant.

He is only 18 and although I really want to see him progress I hope that he isn’t rushed too quickly and that he can develop at his own pace.

Harvie Hill looks like another potential star in the front row.

He’s aggressive and he’s my type of prop.

Hard working and looks to get on the front foot against his opponents as often as he can.

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We have lots of options at prop so he may have to wait to get some first team game time however, I am hoping that he has the drive, attitude and confidence to play his way into contention.

Of all the young forwards that we currently have, this is the lad who I think will become a first team regular (injuries permitting) within the next couple of years.

For a 19-year-old lad playing in the toughest position of all I am really looking forward to watching him develop into a top prop.

I also expect Zack Eckersley will get some game time in 2023.

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Although he is a centre I am hoping that he can also cover as a winger if we get any injuries to the first team.

When I’ve seen him he looks like a pacey player and has the added bonus of being a goal kicker.

He is only 19 however, so I am hoping that he gets say four or five games next season to help his development into what hopefully will be a regular first team player in the next two or three years.

I’d love to see him linking up with Jai Field and Bevan French, or Liam Marshall, scoring some spectacular tries.

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Robert Kenyon

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This season I’m most looking forward to seeing Junior Nsemba, Tom Forber and Harvie Hill.

Starting with Nsemba, he is a big, tall, strong running back rower who works hard, is aggressive and runs good lines.

Your typical back rower if you wish and one that will compliment our pack and beef up the back row.

Tom Forber is a tough little hooker, try saying that with a mouthful.

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He may only be short in height but he makes up for it with heart, I’ve seen him stop big lads in their tracks, pick them up and dump them on their backs.

Last but not least is Harvie Hill, last year's academy player of the year.

He plays mostly as a middle and I’m not sure where he will play for the first team whether that’s at prop or in the loose forward role.

A direct replacement on Ollie Partington if you will, but I think Hill might be the better option.

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