Young gun Jake Shorrocks expects to be targeted as Wigan charge towards the semi-finals... and he’s ready for the challenge.
The 20-year-old halfback played most of Friday’s stirring 35-28 win at Warrington at hooker – a position he has only ever played at Super League level.
He made an energy-sapping 46 tackles and was praised afterwards by team-mates and Shaun Wane.
And as he targets a Grand Final finish, Shorrocks is ready for anything thrown his way.
He said: “I’m a halfback filling in at hooker, so technically you would single me out. But I’ll take that personally and try and step up to the challenge, and meet them physically.
“I respect my opponents but I would never put them on a pedestal. I’m playing Super League, so are they, it’s a level playing field.”
Shorrocks made his debut in a 7-0 win at Widnes in June and since then, has been a regular member of the squad.
“If someone had offered me this at the start of the year, I’d definitely of snatched their hand off,” he said. “Being in the team at this time of year is a real positive for me.”
A crowd of around 14,000 is expected for Wigan’s clash against Catalans on Friday. A victory would secure a home semi-final the following week.and Shorrocks is expected to be involved.
Wane said: “People don’t understand how big a change it is going from half to dummy half, especially defending in the middle.
“But Jake can play, he’s going to be a player for many yeara and I’m hoping I’m here working with him.”
England half George Williams has been impressed with the way Shorrocks has played since breaking into the side.
“He’s not the biggest but he has a dig, and defends like his life depends on it,” said Williams, who took a similar path into the side before settling in a halfback spot.
“I came through in the middle, and it is a good way to do it.
“Physically, it’s demanding, but in the long run it benefited me defensively and when I moved to the edge I was more relaxed.”