JACK Hughes admits he wouldn’t have been shocked if Wigan had recruited a replacement for George Carmont.
But now he has the No.4 shirt, the academy-product has vowed to grab his chance with both hands.
The 20-year-old was switched from the second-row last season and enjoyed spells in the centre berth.
He has flown to Florida with the rest of the Warriors squad for a warm-weather camp, and he admits he has been working hard on sharpening up his handling skills and improving his pace as he eyes a regular place in the starting line-up next season.
“I had a few games at centre last season and I enjoyed it,” he said. “In my first game, it didn’t feel right, but the more time I played there the more comfortable I felt.
“I know I’ve got big boots to fill, because George was a class player for this club and I wouldn’t have been surprised at all if they’d replaced him with someone else.
“So I know the pressure’s on – I’ll be working hard and giving it my best shot.”
Shaun Wane decided not to bolster his three-quarters when Carmont retired at the end of the season, opting instead to give home-grown players a chance.
Hughes will duel with Iain Thornley – brought back from Sale Sharks RU mid-season – for the vacant spot.
“I was chuffed to bits to get the No.4 shirt,” added Hughes. “I was on holiday and a friend sent me a message to tell me.
“I was really excited to get back. Now I’m with the backs I’m concentrating on speed and doing a lot more skills with the ball.
“There are other lads who can play there and I’m sure we’ll all get a go at it during pre-season.”