Forgotten-man Jake Shorrock has been tipped “thrive” next year – and give Adrian Lam another halfback option.
The 23-year-old did not play for Wigan at all last season after battling back to fitness from a serious knee injury he suffered in February 2017.
Spells for the reserves – and on loan at Salford – failed to earn him a crack in Shaun Wane’s title-winning side.
But Shorrocks is under contract for 2019 and executive director Kris Radlinski expects him to thrust himself into the frame.
“It’s a big year for Jake,” said Radlinski.
“I think he needs to come back, kill pre-season and I think he can thrive under Lammy.”
Shorrocks played 12 games during Wigan’s Grand Final charge of 2016, only missing out on Old Trafford when Sean O’Loughlin recovered in time.
Warriors rewarded his sparkling form with a new contract, but he suffered a season-ending injury at Widnes the following year – the week after the World Club Challenge – and he hasn’t figured in the first-team since.
Wigan have not ruled out the possibility of strengthening the halfback position, having failed in a bid for Salford’s Jackson Hastings at the end of last season and also enquired about Lam’s son, Lachlan.
But Radlinski says they will not recruit a player for the sake of it and points out that with Shorrocks, Josh Woods and Under-19s player of the year Harry Smith, they have plenty of cover and competition for first-choice halves George Williams and Thomas Leuluai.
Sam Powell also played at halfback before switching roles with Leuluai, who had been playing hooker.
“Sam (Powell) and Tommy did a great job last season, Josh Woods is a year older, we have Jake... so we’ve got cover there, and we’ll keep an eye out,” he said.
Woods played in 10 games for Wigan last season, scoring two tries, a goal and – memorably – a winning drop-goal in a home win against Warrington in July.
Wigan have two recruits for next season, Zak Hardaker and Barrow prop Joe Bullock, while Joe Greenwood and Chris Hankinson joined mid-season.