LIAM Farrell is feeling the heat in the countdown to the start of the new Super League season.
The academy-product was unexpectedly propelled into a starting role a year ago when Gareth Hock was shipped out.
He rose to the challenge, playing in 31 matches during their double-winning campaign and featuring for England in the World Cup.
And Shaun Wane has acknowledged his seniority with a place in the Warriors’ five-man leadership team.
As he prepares for Friday’s home showdown against Huddersfield, Farrell admits he feels an onus to perform in a team bristling with youngsters.
He said: “Last year there was pressure from the fact I had a starting spot.
“It was unexpected, and put pressure on me to be a starting back rower.
“But now there’s even more pressure. I’m 23, which is still quite young but here I’m one of the senior players.
“I’m in the leadership group and this year my goal is to be consistent every week.
“For me, I see this is a bigger year than last year, and I’m looking forward to it.”
Farrell, who has been joined in the first-team squad this year by younger brother Connor, looks to have nailed down the left-side role.
Tony Clubb, recruited from London, is expected to get the first chance at the other second-row spot.
And though he has been told his development will be closely monitored, ex-Bradford forward John Bateman has been tipped for a bright future at the club.
Academy-products Jack Hughes and Greg Burke are also in the frame, while utility Anthony Gelling can slot in at back-row. Shaun Wane will today name his 19-man squad for Friday’s encounter.