Prescott up for the fight

PAUL Prescott knows eight-into-four won’t go – but is up for the fight of nailing down a prop berth next year.

The 24-year-old already had his work cut out with new-boy Jeff Lima joining the likes of Stuart Fielden, Andy Coley, Eamon O’Carroll and Ben Davies in the front-row ranks.

But Lee Mossop has been tipped to move up from second-row if he can bulk up in the close-season, while there is also the possibility of Gareth Hock following suit when he returns from his drug ban midway through 2011.

When asked whether the appearance of Mossop and Hock on the scene would crank up the pressure on the existing props, Prescott replied: “I suppose so.

“But there’s already six players going for three or four positions without those other players as well.

“Eamon is back from injury, and Ben is training well and looking to push up too.

“It’s really healthy across the team as well, not just in the front row or the back row. ”

Prescott is also looking forward to the prospect of working alongside Lima, who will be a like-for-like replacement for departed wrecking-ball Iafeta Paleaaesina.

“Jeff has come in and added a new side to the team,” Prescott added.

“He’s a different player to Feka but, like Feka, he’s a great bloke.

“I think he’ll bring a lot to the side. He’s got a great work ethic and he’s stepped it up a gear in terms of professionalism, as have Ryan (Hoffman) and Brett (Finch).

“They worked with Madge (Michael Maguire) before, as we all have, and they’ve come in and fitted straight in.”

Along with the rest of his colleagues, Prescott is back in full training ahead of the new campaign, and he admits the intensity levels have been just as high, if not higher, than last year’s gruelling pre-season.

Wigan’s success last year was widely-attributed to the hard work the squad put in over the winter months, and Prescott says it’s been same again this time round.

“Everyone’s ripping in and training’s been good and enjoyable,” he revealed.

“That work ethic has been instilled in everyone and I think they all know the prize is there for us all to go and get again.

“You’ve got young lads ripping in and then the older players are on their guard – you only have to look at what Liam Farrell did last season.

“Anyone with a good off-season can challenge for a place in the side. Madge will throw them in, he’s shown that he’s not afraid to do that.”

Wests Tigers look set to confirm the signing of former Warriors hooker Mark Riddell on a one-year deal.

Riddell, who was released from the final year of his Wigan contract, will join up with ex-Warriors team-mate Mark Flanagan in Sydney.

“It’s likely to happen,” Tigers chief executive Stephen Humphreys admitted.