Morgan Escare has turned tour guide as Wigan step up their preparations in France.
Shaun Wane has taken his squad to Canet, near Escare’s hometown Perpignan, for a week-long training camp which concludes with a friendly against Catalans on Saturday.
I’m adapting to it well and enjoying it hereMorgan Escare
Escare insists he has no axe to grind after being squeezed out of the picture at the Dragons, where he scored 58 tries in 83 appearances over four seasons - a tally which includes only 10 matches last season.
“It probably goes back to the season before, when I didn’t have the best season,” said Escare.
“I get on well with Laurent (Frayssinous, coach), it was a case of me against Tony Gigot to compete for one shirt, that’s what the manager wanted.
“Last season I was fit and healthy, but the manager chose not to play me.”
Escare had been one of Catalans’ most eye-catching players in recent years, and finished just one touchdown behind Super League top try-scorer Joel Monaghan (with 28) in 2014.
He got few chances to show his attacking flair in his first outing for Wigan, a 50-10 loss at Leigh last Sunday.
“I’m adapting to it well and enjoying it here,” said Escare, who has started English lessons. “I play from the back a lot, I’m very quick and hopefully that my pace is something that we can benefit from.”
Escare has signed a one-year deal with Wigan and will start the campaign in the full-back role in place of injured Sam Tomkins.
He is hoping he can do enough to give Shaun Wane a selection headache by the time Tomkins is fit - though he has the option of playing on the wing.
Escare added: “Sam is a great player, with great pedigree.
“I want to give it 100%, so the manager will have confidence to pick me, so then I can give it my all.”
Catalans lost their friendly against Toulouse by 22-6 last weekend. This Saturday’s match is the last senior friendly for both sides.