‘Gelling can be best centre in Super League’

Anthony Gelling
Anthony Gelling

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 here

Shaun 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.