Callum Field kept his Wigan debut a secret from family and friends... because they would have missed the landmark occasion anyway!
The 19-year-old forward wasn’t named in the original teamsheet for Sunday’s Challenge Cup game at Swinton.
But George Williams was unable to warm-up, having failed to recover from a migraine - thrusting Field into the squad for an unexpected bow.
And the Pontefract-raised player said: “I didn’t tell anyone. Because my family are from Yorkshire, I thought by the time they get over here the game ‘ll be over.
“There was no pressure, I just played my own game. I’ll call my mum and dad and my mates now and let them know how it went.”
Field - squad No.37 - became the sixth academy-product to debut in the first-team this year.
He came off the bench in the second-half as Wigan powered to a 42-12 win and set-up a quarter-final tie with Warrington.
“When I got to Orrell on the morning of the game, I found out George was ill and Waney told me there was a chance I might be playing,” he said.
“I’d like to think pressure doesn’t really affect me anyway, but it kept it off, and I guess it made it easier than knowing days in advance.
“It didn’t change anything in the build-up, because when you’re 18th man you warm-up and get in that mind-set that you’re playing just in case something happens.”
The opposition was certainly nothing new to the prop - his last game was playing for Swinton on dual-registration two weeks earlier.
Coach Shaun Wane said: “As soon as I got a call about George, I told Call he may be in.
“He was very calm and said, ‘No worries’.
“Then when George decided he couldn’t warm up, we brought (Field) in and I thought he did some good things when he came on.”
Wigan now switch their focus to the Magic Weekend and Saturday’s headlining clash against Warrington.
Liam Farrell was at Newcastle’s St James’ Park yesterday along with representatives from all the other Super League clubs for a media launch.
Fifth-placed Warriors should be boosted by the return of George Williams, Sean O’Loughlin and possibly Thomas Leuluai, who has recovered quicker than expected from a broken jaw.
“If it’s not this week it’s the week after, but it’ll be great to have Tommy back,” said Wane.