Hamlin hopes he did enough to secure a place in Wigan team

Gabriel Hamlin arrived from South Sydney
Gabriel Hamlin arrived from South Sydney

Gabriel Hamlin said he will “remember forever” his Wigan debut.

The Australian prop – a winter signing from South Sydney – made an eye-catching first appearance in the cherry and white.

And he is hoping he has done enough to cling onto his place for Saturday’s trip to Catalans.

“It was a really good experience, and it was nice to make my debut at home,” he said.

“I think I’m a bad-luck charm – my last game was a friendly at Leigh, and that was freezing too!

“But I loved it, and I just hope it’s enough. I did the best I could, and hopefully it puts me in the squad for Catalans.”

Hamlin’s strong carries, aggressive defence and energy were regularly applauded by the appreciative home fans.

“It took me a while to get back inside because so many people wanted to say ‘hello’ at the end,” said the 21-year-old, who left Souths without playing in the NRL.

“The support from the fans makes it worthwhile – it was a really good experience and something I’ll remember forever.”

Welsh prop Ben Flower was impressed with his fellow front-rower’s contribution.

“He was brilliant,” said Flower. “I think he deserves to play this weekend.”

Coach Shaun Wane was also encouraged by Hamlin’s first display – although he did find one flaw!

“Gabe looked very, very good. He carried the ball strong, he looked composed, it didn’t look like his first game,” he said, before adding with a wry grin: “Apart from going down like he was dead, and the physio was on when there was nothing wrong with him – he needs to understand what we do here.”

Hamlin explained the late injury-scare.

“I just got winded,” he said. “I just needed 10 seconds to regain my breath.”

Hamlin admitted it has been hard waiting for his chance, especially being so far from his parents, who will visit at the end of next month.

“I understand (the competition for places) but it is hard. I’m across the world away from my family and you do question if it’s worth it when you’re not playing,” said Hamlin, who was signed after endorsements from Pat Richards and Michael Maguire.

“I want to play as many as possible and hopefully this is my first of many.”