SHAUN Wane has handed first-team contracts to six promising homegrown stars.
And the Warriors coach hopes to see them emulate the likes of Sam Tomkins and Josh Charnley by establishing themselves in the senior side.
Academy graduates Joe Burgess, Ryan Hampshire and Rob Lever have penned four-year deals.
Prop James Greenwood and halfback George Williams have signed for three years and Lewis Tierney – son of club legend Jason Robinson – has agreed a two-year contract.
All six will become full-time members of the squad when pre-season training begins next month.
Speaking from Australia, Wane said: “This season we have given a number of our own young players a chance to play first team rugby and there is no reason why some of these boys cannot follow a similar route over the next few years. They have a real opportunity to learn and progress from being around our first team set-up.”
Burgess, Hampshire, Williams and Tierney represented England Academy earlier this year.
ENGLAND boss Steve McNamara was yesterday thought to be examining the possibility of getting hooker Mike McIlorum available for Saturday’s Test against Wales.
McIlorum has one match of a three-game ban still to serve, but the RFL was looking into whether England Knights’ match against Ireland last Saturday could be counted.
SAM Tomkins has been ranked the 10th best player in the world by leading Australian magazine, Rugby League Week.
He was the highest-ranked Brit in the list of the sport’s best 100 players. Wigan’s Gareth Hock, Sean O’Loughlin and departing Thomas Leuluai also figured.