Shaun Wane has thrown down the gauntlet to Liam Forsyth and told him he “needs to improve quickly.”
The outside back returned to Wigan last year from a spell in rugby union with Bath.
He figured 13 times in total, but the 21-year-old didn’t nail down a regular spot.
Wane has included him in his 19-man squad for tomorrow’s game at Salford, as cover in case an outside back is injured before then.
And he has challenged Forsyth and young centres Jack Higginson and Jack Worthington – who have both had a taste of first-team – to put real pressure on starting players Dan Sarginson and Oliver Gildart.
Asked what he wanted to see from Forsyth this season, Wane replied: “He’s not up to my standard yet, and he needs to improve quickly. He knows this, I’ve told him.
“I need to see it quickly. I want Gilly and Sarge under pressure. I have Higginson and Worthington in the squad, too, and I want those three players ready to go.”
Wane also has the option of using a forward in the centre spot, should Sarginson or Gildart be ruled out.
He also played Joe Burgess in the position last year.
But he wants Forsyth, Higginson and young Worthington to be knocking on the door.
“If Sarge or Gilly are injured, I don’t want to put John Bateman or Willie Isa in there, I want a centre in there,” added Wane.
“And it’s up to those three to show me they’re ready.
“I’m hoping we have a decent run with injuries, and I want Oli and Sarge under pressure.
“I want the pressure throughout the team, and I want it at centre.”