Dom Manfredi described his selection in the Super League Dream Team as “massive”.
The winger scored 15 tries in 25 games this year before his season was ended by a serious knee injury.
But he was handed some good news yesterday when he was named in the Dream Team, the fictitious line-up selected by a panel of the sport’s journalists and broadcasters.
“It was a nice surprise and I’m made up to be included,” said the 22-year-old.
“To be involved with this group of players is massive for me.
“I thought I was going alright until the injury.
We’re looking at up to 12 months before I’m playing again
“I’m sure I’ll be back stronger.”
Manfredi was the only Wigan player included in the team, which was dominated by stars from Hull FC and Warrington.
The winger has undergone surgery on his anterior cruciate ligament injury suffered at Castleford last month.
He is unlikely to figure until late next summer.
“I’m three-weeks post op’ now, so everything being fine, we’re looking at up to 12 months before I’m playing again,” he said.
“We don’t want to rush anything, when I’m ready. It’s totally up to the medical staff, I’m sure I’m in the right hands.
“They reckon nine to 12 months.”
Manfredi is hoping to be cheering on the patched-up Wigan side at Old Trafford next week, if they can overcome Hull FC on Friday.
“It’s going to be a really tough game this week and I’ll be cheering the lads on,” he said. “Considering all the injuries, to get this far has been great.”
Challenge Cup finalists Hull and Warrington boast 10 of the 13 players in the 2016 First Utility Super League Dream Team.
Wembley winners Hull have six representatives, including Man of Steel candidates Gareth Ellis and Danny Houghton, while runners-up and League Leaders Warrington have four.
Wigan and Castleford are the only other clubs with players in the annual line-up, which is selected by a panel of the sport’s broadcasters and journalists.
Veteran loose forward Ellis is included for the fifth time but his first selection since 2008 when he was with Leeds, while there are no fewer than nine debutants, including Castleford’s record-breaking winger Denny Solomona, the other player on the Man of Steel short-list.
The selection of Warrington second rower Ben Currie and Manfredi will cushion their disappointment of suffering season-ending injuries, which ruled them out of England contention as well as a chance of glory with their clubs.
Castleford scrum-half Luke Gale is the only player to retain his place from 2015.
The 2016 First Utility Super League Dream Team: Jamie Shaul (Hull); Denny Solomona (Castleford), Ryan Atkins (Warrington), Mahe Fonua (Hull), Dom Manfredi (Wigan); Kurt Gidley (Warrington), Luke Gale (Castleford); Chris Hill (Warrington), Danny Houghton (Hull), Scott Taylor (Hull), Ben Currie (Warrington), Mark Minichiello (Hull), Gareth Ellis (Hull).