ANTHONY Gelling has been tipped to establish himself as one of the leading centres in Super League after pledging his future to Wigan.
The Kiwi – currently sidelined with a hamstring injury – has penned a four-year deal running to the end of 2019.
Shaun Wane is convinced the 24-year-old has a lot of unfulfilled potential.
And the coach reckons the new deal will allow him to continue his progress.
He said: “When Gells is on, he’s on – one of the best centres in Super League.
“He’s a great athlete, he’s hard to handle, strong, and has great skill as well.
He’s definitely a different sort of character, and he can be a test sometimes! But he’s a really nice person who fits in well hereShaun Wane
“But I’m 100 per cent convinced there is a lot more to come from him.
“If you look at his concentration level, I want to see 10, 15, 20 games when he consistently performs at a high level – and he knows that.
“On his day, he’s a real handful.”
Wane signed Gelling from the relative-obscurity of the Auckland Vulcans at the end of 2011 – the Cook Islands international was working a full-time construction job at the time – after a recommendation from his former team-mate, Kevin Iro.
He showed flashes of promise in his first two years, without cementing a regular spot.
But their combined patience and persistence paid off, with Gelling flourishing last season and continuing that form this year in the right-centre berth. He is also one of the most colourful characters at the club – he charged down a penalty-attempt against Brisbane in February, and arrived at the Good Friday derby riding a BMX bike!
Wane said: “He’s definitely a different sort of character, and he can be a test sometimes! But he’s a really nice person who fits in well here.”
Gelling is due back from injury in around three weeks.
Wigan favour long-term deals, having already signed Tony Clubb and Dom Manfredi to improved contracts this year. Wane, meanwhile, formally ruled Wigan out of the running for Salford want-a-way halfback Theo Fages.