Sutton lays his claim for regular action

Wigan Warriors v Widnes Vikings
Wigan Warriors v Widnes Vikings

RISING star Ryan Sutton has handed Shaun Wane a welcomed headache after a strong start to the new campaign.

The 19-year-old was rewarded for his hard work in pre-season with a starting spot in last Thursday’s opening Super League game at Widnes.

Sutton made his mark with a bone-rattling shot on Kevin Brown during his first stint, and his overall contribution was praised by Wane.

With Lee Mossop nearing a return to the first-team, Sutton would have appeared the most obvious candidate to drop out of the team given his age and inexperience.

But Wane says his form merits a place in his team, intensifying competition for places among fellow front-rowers Dom Crosby, Taulima Tautai, Tony Clubb, Larne Patrick and James Greenwood.

The Warriors boss said: “I like Ryan, he plays hard and he’s got a great attitude. He has been our most consistent front-rower throughout pre-season.

“The players all know I’ll play my best props, it’s all on form.”

Ex-Ince Rose Bridge junior Sutton had attracted interest from NRL champions Souths, before signing a new four-year deal.

“I had a few meetings with him and his representatives, but he loves it here and he realises he is learning and getting better,” added Wane.