Oliver Gildart is hoping a combination of fun and experience can help make Wigan’s left edge a potent attacking force.
The centre played in the same school team as Joe Burgess, who returned from injury against Salford last week.
And with George Williams alongside them, the academy-products have honed their slick link-ups over years – part of the reason why coach Adrian Lam has backed them to become one of Super League’s most lethal edges.
Gildart said: “It feels miles more composed with Budge back.
“I know those two more than anyone in the team and we enjoy ourselves a bit more, and we showed that on the pitch.
“I just think with Budge and George, if there’s a little break, it’s easier to anticipate and support – just because I’ve seen them play so many times I sort of know what they’e going to do.
“Rugby can get a bit serious at times but when you’re out and playing alongside your best mates, you can enjoy it.”
They are next in action in Sunday’s home match against Catalans Dragons – which will see another of their close mates, Lewis Tierney, line up opposite.
“I’ve already messaged Lewis and told him he’s having it this week!” smiled Gildart.
“It’s three-against-one, so he’ll get some stick.
“Catalans are very physical, they always have been and they’ve played some good stuff this year.
“But we’ve improved quite a bit in the last two games – we’re still way off in certain areas – and it’s about building each
“The win against Salford only mattered if we win again, and the week later.
“We want it to be a stepping stone.”