Sam Powell will get the chance to gauge his success in the hooker role against the reigning Man of Steel tonight.
Powell was one of three Wigan players – with fringe forwards Joe Bretherton and Jack Wells – who voted for Danny Houghton to win the coveted players’ player award last year.
The 24-year-old Powell has continued his good form from last season, when he spent the bulk of the time in the No.9 role in place of injured Micky McIlorum.
And ahead of tonight’s clash with Hull FC, he said: “Danny is a really good player, and someone who many hookers like me look up to.
“It’s a great challenge for me to go up against someone like him.
“He’s one – and Daryl Clark (at Warrington) is another – who will be up there and in the frame for international honours, and that’s something that in the future hopefully I can look at.”
Hull FC have won four of their five games this season, including their last three straight.
The Challenge Cup holders won two of their four meetings with Wigan last season and Powell said: “I rank them very highly.
“They’re a dangerous team with international players – they’ll be no different to last year, they’ll be up there aiming for trophies.
I can’t wait for this, and all the lads are really looking forward to it.
“It’s a great challenge for the middles, we’ve been going really well in that department, and we need to step it up again because there’s no bigger challenge than Hull (in the middle).
“They’ve a big pack, a big set of lads, they’ll really bring it to us. So we need to start well and get stuck in.”
Wigan are unbeaten this season but drew their last game, 16-16 at home to Huddersfield.
“We were annoyed with ourselves, we know we weren’t at our best, We were a bit flat from the start, and one thing we’ve been doing is starting well,” added Powell.