Craig Mullen described his Wigan debut as a “dream come true” – despite the disappointing result.
He became the latest academy-graduate to get his first-team chance when he featured on the wing in Thursday’s 32-16 loss at Wakefield.
“I’m made up,” he said after the game. “I’ve been a Wigan fan since I was seven and so to get a chance to play for them was a dream come true.
“I was obviously playing against bigger bodies, but I had experienced players around me and that gives you a lot of confidence.
“There’s disappointment that we lost. But the effort was there, which is the building-block for us to improve.”
Mullen only got the call-up earlier in the day when Liam Marshall pulled out through illness. “I was in the barbers actually,” smiled the 20-year-old utility-back.
“A few of the boys have given me a bit of stick, saying I had my hair-cut done (for the Sky cameras especially), but I didn’t – I was mid-haircut!
“I saw the call was off Waney and I thought, ‘I definitely need to answer this one.’
“He gave me the nod and I was over the moon. The first thing I did was phone my sister, who was in school, and then I called my mum and family.”
A former St Cuthbert’s and Blackbrook junior, he played well and dealt with several kicks fired his way.
He added: “When Wakefield saw my name on the teamsheet, on debut, they probably thought they’d send some traffic my way, but I felt I went alright.”
Mullen prefers full-back and has been learning from Sam Tomkins and Morgan Escare, but is happy to play wing, centre or even halfback.