Flower’s time to blossom

Ben Flower in the new Warriors away kit
Ben Flower in the new Warriors away kit

BEN Flower returns to training today vowing to do his new role as Wigan’s senior front-rower justice.

The Welshman was rewarded for a strong season in 2013 with the No.10 shirt for next year.

And the 26-year-old has been left as the most experienced prop after a clutch of departures.

Paul Prescott retired mid-year, England international Lee Mossop is moving to NRL outfit Parramatta and Epa Lauaki is expected to depart.

In addition, a question-mark hangs over the future of Andy Powell with at least two union clubs circling.

Former Crusaders star Flower said: “Getting the No.10 was a nice surprise.

“Filling that jersey is a massive honour, particularly when you look at all the great players who have gone before, and hopefully I can make the Wigan fans proud.

“It’s the first time I’ve had a starting squad number during my career and to me it means a lot.

“You’re in that position to be No.1 – and you need to be on your game to keep it.

“I really enjoyed last year, winning the double will go down in the club’s history and personally, I’ve played in a World Cup and become a dad.

“I couldn’t really have asked for a better year.”

Flower is ready to start preparing for the new campaign.

He has already met his new team-mates Dan Sarginson and Tony Clubb, and said: “You need to have a break to get away from rugby and let bumps and bruises heal, so it’s been good to have some time off.

“I’ve been doing my own training and hopefully I’ll fit back in okay.”

The Warriors players are training until Christmas Eve and return on January 2.