CHRIS Tuson is ready to lead Wigan’s young-guns into battle tonight.
The forward will captain the Warriors for the first-time this evening when they host Hull FC in a Challenge Cup Final rematch.
Shaun Wane is handing winger Dominic Manfredi a debut in a team dominated by youngsters.
With up to 13 members of the Wembley side rested, including stars such as Pat Richards, Josh Charnley and Sam Tomkins, Tuson will be asked to play a leading role.
“This is a big honour for me,” he said. “I’ve been supporting Wigan all of my life and to get the chance to captain the side is something I’ll be very proud of.
“Waney told me in front of the boys, I had to get up and say a few words.
“With it being such a young side I’ve got to step up and be influential to them.”
The 19-man squad includes youngsters Lewis Tierney, Ryan Hampshire, Joe Burgess, George Williams, James Greenwood and Manfredi.
Former Wales RU forward Andy Powell could be set to make his third appearance for the club following his code-switch from Sale. Wane is resting so many players to give them a chance to recover from the emotional high of winning the Challenge Cup last week, when they beat Hull FC 16-0.
Tuson, a member of that triumphant side, reckons it will be an extra hurdle to overcome – but is confident they still have the players to claim the two points.
“It’s a strange one after Wembley,” the 23-year-old said.
“It will be for them too, because they’ll be hurting, but we need this win so we can finish in the best position in the league.
“It’s a young team, but Dom has been killing it in training and Joe Burgess too, so it’s a good opportunity for them.
“Hull are a great side and they proved that by reaching a Challenge Cup Final.
“It’s going to be tough, but we have structures and standards and no matter who comes in, whether they’re 18 or 32, they slot in and do a job.”
Third-placed Wigan need to win one of their last two matches to guarantee a top-three finish. They host Leeds next Thursday.
Tuson, who leaves at the end of the season to join Wakefield, has enjoyed the last few days.
“I’m just feeling about normal again now,” he added. “It was unbelievable.”