Wigan Warriors' Ollie Partington has no plans to change his ways in 2020
The prop was one of the success stories of Wigan’s last season.
Having spent time with part-timers Swinton at the start of the year by July he had cemented a starting place in the Warriors’ front-row.
And his confrontational style won the support of the Cherry and White faithful... and rattled rival players and fans! League legend Garry Schofield even branded him “disrespectful” after he was cautioned for patting the head of Castleford’s Paul McShane.
But Partington says he and fellow firebrand Morgan Smithies have no intention of changing their ways next year.
The 21-year-old said: “It’s something rugby needs in general.
“You can’t lose that side of the game – and I don’t think they’ll ever coach it out of me and Morgs.
“I try not to read the reaction too much because you get some people giving it you – especially Cas’ fans after that game (he was cautioned) – but it’s all part of the game, there’s no harm in it and the game needs that.”
He continued: “I was thrown into the deep end at times last season and if I wasn’t up to scratch, I had to be.
“I started gaining some experience and speaking to Lammy and some of the older players, and I grew from there. Matty Peet (defence coach) came back and he was a massive help, he’s always kicking me up the backside!”
Partington made 24 appearances last season but he is certainly not taking his place in the side for granted. Wigan lost no props from the end of last season – and have recruited George Burgess (Souths) and Mitch Clark (Castleford) – to ramp up competition for front-row spots.
“George is a world class player and Mitch is a competitor who played really well against us in the past, so they’ll be good assets for us,” added the ex-Orrell St James junior.